BEAVERTON, OR – Portland-style food cart pods could open in Beaverton within a year.
As local diners clamor for more menu options, city leaders are working to relax rules that currently prohibit mobile food businesses such as food trucks and trailers from gathering in groups or staying in one spot.
Such restrictions have halted the westward march of Portland’s food cart craze, which has been celebrated in the New York Times and elsewhere for its inventiveness and lower costs.
“They offer a very different experience,” Beaverton Economic Development Alma Flores said.
“What’s been happening is they’ve been finding places right outside the city,” said Amy Koski, a project coordinator in the department.
Mayor Denny Doyle, fresh off a series of meetings with neighborhood groups, said last week that one of the most common questions residents had for him is when food cart pods will come to Beaverton. Doyle said he and the majority of Beaverton City Council members favor relaxing rules on food carts.
While those new rules could pass through the council by late summer, the city’s economic development staff believes larger clusters of food carts might have to wait until next spring, at the beginning of their busiest season.
Currently, food trucks and carts operating in the Beaverton city limits are not allowed to remain in one spot for more than seven hours or overnight, making it difficult for them to serve two consecutive mealtimes in one location, particularly when adding the time required to set up and take down their operations. They also may not locate in groups under regulations now on the books.
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