April 09, 2014 - 11:22 AM
KAMLOOPS — Locally owned food trucks could soon be the norm downtown if a pilot program gets the nod from the public.
Council has approved a public hearing to discuss the idea, which has come up on request from current food truck operators and local business associations.
In January Kamloops Central Business Improvement Area General Manager Gay Pooler said food trucks were a welcome addition to 2014 in downtown and while details were still being hammered out they hoped to see them set up at St. Andrews on the Square and by the TNRD building, where courtyards made for ready eating are located.
Currently food trucks, classified as 'sale from mobile vehicle', are allowed in several commercial areas, and for a maximum of two days per week.
As popularity of the couple food trucks in the area grows so does the interest in offering up more locations for the local vendors to operate. The city is now looking at offering more commercial zones as well as on-street locations as potential sites.
The city is now looking at creating a new definition for 'food truck or trailer' and at running an on-street pilot project from mid-May through the end of October at the two locations Pooler said would be ideal earlier in the year. The city is also looking at allowing more food trucks in Riverside Park this year and will continue to allow seasonal vending permits for other parks.
Several councillors voiced concerns over what will be allowed and not allowed in anticipation of the upcoming public hearing.
"Part of the experience is variety,"Coun. Ken Christian says, "I don't want to envision 15 hot dog stands all in a row."
Engineering Director Marvin Kwiatkowski notes he will be looking into a question brought up by Coun. Nelly Dever over how much and what type of prepared foods, such as bags of chips and bottles or cans of pop, can be served via the food trucks.
Concern over noise, health standards and future impacts were all brought into the question as well.
The pilot project is being used as a way to gauge how food trucks affect existing businesses and on-street parking and will be reviewed at the end of the year.
Currently Cat and Joe's Pig Rig, Eats Amore and Bellringer Expresso operate regularly in the city.
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-This story was updated at 3:58 p.m., April 8 to include updates from the council meeting.
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