BRENTWOOD, TN – As Middle Tennessee’s love for food trucks continues to gain traction, many of these restaurants on wheels are pulling into local offices’ parking lots to peddle their cuisines.
But that mobility in sales can sometimes run afoul of municipal ordinances, codes or regulations.
The Nashville Food Truck Association, a collective group of food truck owners and operators, is staying out of Maryland Farms for now after finding out that these mobile kitchens aren’t allowed to do business in some areas there according to Brentwood zoning rules, said NFTA president Dallas Shaw.
“The food trucks will abide by the request of the city and not park in that zone,” he said.
Shaw, who owns Hoss’ Loaded Burgers, was reminded of these regulations in early April, when his truck was in an area of Maryland Farms that didn’t allow retail sales. Shaw said there was some confusion on the food trucks owners’ part about whether they could set up shop if granted permission by the property owner. But zoning rules trump an invitation by the building owner in this instance, said Brentwood City Manager Kirk Bednar.
“Essentially, there are two types of zoning in Maryland Farms. C-1 is office only, which doesn’t allow for retail sales, and C-2, which is office or retail. We don’t go out looking for them. But if we see them, we do enforce (the rules),” said Bednar.
Brentwood has considered whether to change parts of its ordinance after the issue came up with another food truck selling food in the C-1 zone of Maryland Farms in 2012. The city is still looking into the matter. Until then, the city is enforcing the regulations that are on the books.
“Obviously, we understand it’s a growing business model. But we also have to consider the protection of brick and mortar places that are invested in community and pay taxes,” Bednar said.
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