KAMLOOPS, CANADA – Kamloops’ food trucks will be able to return to Gaglardi Square for another summer.
But, as city council passed a series of bylaw tweaks at a public hearing on Tuesday night, it appears no one is really satisfied with this year’s regulations.
The latest changes to the city’s food-truck bylaw will reduce the number of spots available to park downtown from three to one — though two of last year’s spots were stalls on different sides of the Fifth Avenue and Victoria Street intersection.
Zoning changes will allow trucks to park at Hillside Stadium, with proper permits, and in new industrial zones. Trucks can also open slightly earlier, at 9 a.m. on weekdays and at 7 a.m. on weekends.
Speaking to council, Mikey Wheeler-Johnson, owner of pasta truck Eats Amore, wasn’t particularly enthused about the changes.
He said food-truck operators had hoped to see a second spot added to the city’s on-street program on the North Shore or at a city facility like the Tournament Capital Centre, but said it’s a discussion city staff only seem to be entertaining now, when most trucks have already begun making plans to attend private events and functions that may clash with the city program.
“I think this is things that should have been worked on over the winter and we could have hit the ground running,” Wheeler-Johnson said.
On the other side of the issue, Kamloops Central Business Improvement Association general manager Gay Pooler said restaurant owners downtown believe the trucks hurt their business when they parked in the core last summer. She said restaurant owners also believe it’s unfair that food trucks avoid paying high city taxes.
“We agree that food trucks do have a place in the city, but we are worried about the taxation imbalance to our bricks-and-mortar locations,” Pooler said, suggesting the city raise its daily food truck parking fee downtown from $15 to $50.
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