The only food truck driving around town used to be the ice cream man, but now it seems you can order anything from tacos to tiramisu from the side of a truck.
The Marietta City Council is attempting keep up with the boom in popularity of these modern-day chuck wagons by updating its ordinance to deal with them. This ordinance has to do with private events, like a business, church or neighborhood group using the trucks to cater an event. Special events like the Fourth of July or Taste of Marietta would not be impacted.
The council is set to vote on the first reading of changes to the city ordinance regarding food trucks Wednesday. Members discussed the changes last Wednesday at a work session.
The plan presented there would create separate rules for food trucks on residential property than on other zonings such as retail or office.
On residential property, a food truck could operate until 9 p.m. for up to three days a year, and only one day consecutively.
Retail, multi-use, office and industrial property could host food trucks until 10 p.m. for up to three days in a row, but not for more than 12 days a year, this depending on the property’s use, from neighboring property lines.
Those zonings could host food trucks. In addition, food trucks in these areas would have to stay between 30 and 75 feet. The council was generally supportive, but Councilwoman Cheryl Richardson asked staff to take another look at certain types of commercial zonings that are adjacent to residential property.
“Directly across the street from me is a Mattress Warehouse,” she said. “I can only go until 9, but directly across the street, they can go until 10?”
“Right,” said Economic Development Director Alvin Huff.
Richardson said she does not want to scrap the whole thing, but would like staff to see if there is anything they can do about the discrepancy.
“Just take a look at it,” she said. “If it looks like we’re now making it look like you basically can’t go anywhere, I don’t want to do that, but I want people to be able to have the food trucks. I think they’re just one more option, and since I don’t cook, I love them, but I don’t want the issues that we’re already having with places that have the food trucks and neighbors that are like, ‘This is too much noise, too late, too loud.’”
A first read of the proposed ordinance change is scheduled for Wednesday’s meeting. Under city code, an ordinance change can pass on a first read if the vote is unanimous, otherwise it must go to the next month’s meeting, where it will only need a simple majority.