KEY WEST, FL – City planners will host a public workshop at 5:30 p.m. today designed to gather opinions, insights and ideas about the proposed food truck law.
The workshop will be held at the Harvey Government Center, 1200 Truman Ave.
Key West has no regulations on its books when it comes to food trucks. Staff has spent the past two years grappling with how to oversee the small but burgeoning trend that took other cities years ago.
First, City Planner Don Craig tried to get a moratorium on food truck permit applications installed but the measure couldn’t find enough support.
Now, Craig has drawn up a proposed ordinance that would impose restrictions on where food trucks may set up shop, how far away from other eateries they must remain, and when they can open for business.
Proposed last month, the food truck law has stalled again. The planning board postponed hearing it for the first time Oct. 16, citing the absence of chairman Richard Kliteneck.
Planning board members also wanted the city to hold a public workshop first, staff said.
Anyone unable to attend today’s meeting may send comments in writing to [email protected].
City commissioners have the final say on any new ordinances. A proposal must be approved at two separate meetings to become law.
Craig’s original 16-page ordinance would require food trucks to be “truly mobile,” according to a recent memo, meaning they cannot remain at a fixed location overnight.
Safety is the priority, Craig has said, and the food truck industry is a novel concept in Key West.
“The history of Key West clearly shows that there were few, if any, carts or pushcarts in the streets or private property selling foods in a ready-to-eat form,” Craig wrote in an Oct. 16 memo to accompany the proposed law. “The proposed ordinance closes the gap in the regulations to clearly define and classify all the allowed establishments that can be licensed to sell food in a ready-to-eat state.”
The city’s food truck rumpus began with code officers trying to cite two established trucks, White Street Station and Cayo, which is on Duval Street, for opening without the proper permits.
But a special magistrate tossed out the code allegations, saying they don’t cover food trucks.
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