EAU CLAIRE, WI – Food trucks can now operate in three Eau Claire parks, but a proposal to allow them along streets will wait until winter.
The City Council voted 10-0 on Tuesday to back a policy allowing food trucks in Owen and Phoenix parks and the city’s Soccer Park but pledged that a more expanded version would be drafted in coming months.
“This proposal is really just dipping our toes into the food truck scene,” Councilwoman Catherine Emmanuelle said.
Previously, food trucks were only allowed to operate on private property with permission of landowners or as part of special events.
During a July 13 public hearing, the City Council heard from several food truck owners who said the city’s proposal to add city parks did not go far enough and should be expanded to city streets.
“I’m disappointed that the policy did not change one bit,” Eric Nelson, a wood-fired pizza truck owner, said Tuesday to the council.
Councilman David Strobel was frustrated that the policy didn’t change despite the outcry from food truck vendors.
“I wish we had a more comprehensive policy going forward,” he said.
Strobel even made an unsuccessful attempt to postpone a vote on the food truck policy until it could be rewritten to include streets.
Emmanuelle, chairwoman of the city committee that drafted the food truck policy, said there was an effort to add permission to serve on streets but writing those changes to city ordinances would’ve taken many more weeks, even months.
“There was a choice — do something or do nothing right now,” she said.
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