NORFOLK, VA – Although the Planning Commission unanimously voted Thursday night to allow food trucks on public and private property downtown, the greatest hurdle for proponents still looms: convincing the City Council.
Commissioner Martin Thomas Jr., who made the motion, warned the dozens of supporters that there would be great “political pressures” once the matter comes before the City Council. Thomas said after the meeting that some council members are wary of the food trucks because of the competition they would create for traditional restaurants.
That rationale didn’t ring true with the Planning Commission, though.
“I’ve yet to hear a credible argument against allowing food trucks downtown,” said Dan Neumann, a commission member.
Food trucks, which are en vogue in urban cities, have failed to gain deep support in this community, although they do have the backing of the Downtown Norfolk Civic League and Downtown Norfolk Council. As of Thursday night, “Hungry for Food Trucks” had attracted 1,359 “likes” on Facebook.
“The unanimous approval echoes the city’s overwhelming public support,” Drew Ungvarsky, vice president of Re:Vision Norfolk, said in an email about the Planning Commission vote.
The commission has authority only over zoning issues. So, in addition to its vote to allow food trucks on public and private property downtown, the commission agreed to send a letter to the City Council asking that food trucks be allowed in downtown without a one-year trial period and without limitations on their hours, enabling them to operate until 2 a.m., just like the existing bars.
Find the entire article by Jillian Nolin at hamptonroads.com <here>