Marietta foodies may have to settle for dishes cooked in a stationary kitchen for a little longer.

The City Council voted 6-1 to table ordinance changes that would clarify rules for food trucks in the city.

In a nutshell, the ordinance 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.

Councilwoman Cheryl Richardson saw problems with the yearly limit, giving the example of a church that wanted to hold a weekly event.

“I’m a church and I decide that I want to do food truck Sunday,” she said. “Right after service, some churches go down to their meeting hall and they have food, but we don’t want to cook, we want to have food truck Sunday. That’s 52 Sundays. I can’t do that?”

Development Services Director Rusty Roth said a church like that would need to go before the council and ask to add food trucks as an additional land use. The council could then consider issues such as what neighbors thought and decide whether to allow them to move forward.

That’s the kind of deal the city made with Glover Park Brewery off of Roswell Street near the Square. Last year, Glover Park was granted a special use exception to the city’s food truck ordinance, which allowed the business to have food trucks operate until 10 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays. Other than at the brewery, city code says food trucks have to close up by sunset.

The current effort to change the food truck ordinance was largely intended to clarify the rules for other new businesses, but Richardson said residents of the nearby Meeting Park development have been complaining about noise from the brewery, including the food trucks.

Richardson proposed sending the proposal back to the city’s Judicial and Legislative Committee for another look after Roth told the council the proposed ordinance changes would not affect Meeting Park.

The proposal places limits on where food trucks can go in and near residentially-zoned areas, but Roth said Meeting Park is not actually zoned for residential, but mixed use.

“We need to really look at these consequences for ourselves, to our businesses and to our residents,” Richardson said. “Because I’m sure there are some people here now from Meeting Park who are surprised to hear that they’re not actually living in a residential area.”

Also at last week’s meeting, the council voted 6-1 to fund $15 million in renovations to the Marietta Hilton Conference Center and Hotel. Councilman Joseph Goldstein was the sole nay vote.

City Manager Bill Bruton said the agreement will be a money-maker for the city, yielding 6% interest on the deal.

“With what we’re getting right now, we’re only getting about 2.5% in the investments that we’re able to put that money into by state law,” he said. “This would allow us to actually return 6% instead of the 2.5%. … We’ll be getting a lot better return off of money that we do have.”

Marietta owns the hotel, the property it’s built on and City Club Marietta, the golf course behind the hotel. The hotel is managed by Callas-based Remington Hotels, which leases the hotel from the city. Bruton said the Hilton Corporation agreed to extend its name to the property for another 20 years if the improvements are made.

The improvements will mark the first complete renovation the hotel has undergone since it opened in 1996.

Bruton said Remington will take the profit earned by the facility after the improvements and put it in two funds, one for Remington and one for future capital improvements to the hotel. The city will retain control of the latter fund.


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