By DAVID BORAKS
Davidson commissioners on Tuesday adopted the town's first food-truck ordinance in a 4-0 vote that came after the board dropped restrictions on how close to existing restaurants the trucks can park. The board also voted to annex several lots in the River Run neighborhood at the request of the developer, and confirmed the town's membership in a newly expanded regional transportation planning organization that will include Iredell County.
FOOD TRUCK RULES ADOPTED
Commissioners voted 4-0 to adopt the new food truck ordinance, which followed a discussion and a couple of revisions. Some commissioners seemed a bit wary about enacting the rules, but town officials said the new ordinance was needed to allow food trucks in town.
As the mobile eateries become more popular, they've started turning up at local events, and even in neighborhoods.
“Is there anything in particular about what's happening in town that's a reason for this?” Commissioner Connie Wessner asked Town Manager Leamon Brice. He replied no, but said that until now, food trucks weren't explicitly allowed.
In offering the rules, the town staff said an ordinance was required to allow and regulate food trucks on private, non-residential property.
Commissioner Rodney Graham said he was uncomfortable with a section of the proposed rules that would have allowed existing restaurants to bar food trucks from within 75 feet of their businesses. “I would feel better with no restriction,” Graham said. He didn't like the idea of “giving one business veto power over a competitor.”
In the end, the board unanimously approved the rules, removing the distance restrictions and adding a requirement that food trucks provide both trash and recycling containers. (The vote was 4-0. The board has one vacancy at the moment since Commissioner Laurie Venzon stepped down last month to move away.)
Other provisions in the new ordinance:
- Food truck operators must obtain a permit from the town, and pay a yet-to-be-determined fee.
- Trucks would have to be parked on private land, with permission of the owners, and operate between 8am and 10pm.
- Operators must show a health department certificate.
- The Davidson Farmer’s Market’s weekly food trucks are exempted from the new rules, because the rules specifically exempt town-sponsored events and nonprofit fundraising events that last less than three days.
- Food trucks at private neighborhood parties also would be exempt.
- Ice cream trucks are exempt.
See more about the new ordinance on the town website. Note that the PDF of the ordinance on the Town Board agenda page does not include the two changes made at the meeting.
Also Tuesday, the board:
- Heard Mayor John Woods report on the upcoming Chiquita Classic golf tournament, which will be Sept. 2-8 at River Run Country Club. “This goes beyond just a simple professional golf tournament,” Woods said. “Chiquita uses this as their main fundraiser and contributor to nonprofits.” (Read more about the tournament and the charities that will benefit, and watch the video that Davidson Commissioners watched describing the tournament's importance to professional golf, in our Aug. 12, 2013, report, “River Run getting ready for its big moment, the Chiquita Classic”
- Agreed to supply a letter of support for the Davidson Lands Conservancy's application to designate about 6 miles of local roads as Mecklenburg County's first scenic byway. The application is due by the month's end. DLC director Roy Alexander said the Mecklenburg County Commission also has lent its support to the plan. He told commissioners it could bring more tourists through town and would be promoted – though not extensively – through state tourism promotion channels. The designation also would bar billboards – though that's already prohibited both in Davidson and Iredell. See more in our July 19, 2013, report, “Should Davidson roads be designated as a scenic byway?” See also an Aug. 6 report by WFAE-FM's Julie Rose, “Mecklenburg County Eyes Scenic Route”
- Approved 4-0 the annexation of three parcels of land along Dembridge Drive in the River Run neighborhood. The annexation had been requested by the neighborhood developer, River Run Limited Partnership. The developer plans to re-divide the land into four lots. See a map and details on the town website.”
- Heard from Davidson Design for Life director Katherine Hebert on health impact assessments (HIAs), which were the subject of a conference here last week. She also showed an 11-minute video produced for the conference that gives an overview of the HIA process.
- Adopted a revised meeting schedule for the next two months. The revisions includes a meeting Tuesday, Sept. 17, at 7pm at the home of Commissioner Rodney Graham, 618 James Alexander Way. The board holds the monthly informal meetings for “team building” and does not take any formal actions. Meanwhile, the board will hold orientation sessions with candidates for commissioner at 9am on Sept. 14 and 21 and will meet for a retreat on Sept. 27 from 9am to 5pm at Starrett Farms, Statesville. (Download the schedule – PDF)
- Approved Budget Amendment 2014-04, which carries forward money allocated for down payment assistance from City of Charlotte Home Consortium program not spent in FY 2013. Grant funds are available until November 12, 2013.
- Approved a new memorandum of understanding that forms the new Charlotte Regional Transportation Planning Organization. The organization replaces the former Mecklenburg Union Metropolitan Planning Organization (MUMPO) with an expanded and newly named group with new members that will include Mooresville and Iredell County. The changes were the result of federal rules that require regional planning organizations to adjust to population growth and shifts. Find the agreement and see a map of the new district on the town website.
- Appointed Davidson College student Ahmad Rana to a seat on the town's Livability Board reserved for a student. See more on the town website.
See the full meeting agenda on the Davidson town website.