Vendors may soon be able to stay overnight in Round Rock food truck parks.
The Round Rock Planning and Zoning Commission recommended June 2 approval of amendments to the city's food truck ordinance, including a change that would allow mobile food establishments to remain in long-term permitted food truck parks overnight.
Long-term or annual mobile food establishment permits, which are issued to property owners, do not currently allow for property owners to have food trucks parked overnight. These permits are valid through a calendar year from Jan. 1-Dec. 31. Previously the city’s ordinance allowed for food trucks to remain parked overnight only on weekends and holidays.
These amendments were brought to the commission by the city of Round Rock, following inquiry from local entities.
Brad Wiseman, Round Rock planning and development director, said the city initially began a pilot program with a food park near Mays Street, but discontinued it due to a lack of attractiveness in terms of business.
“Early on, our code did not allow for mobile food establishments,” Wiseman said. “Obviously, they're an attractive and popular thing in many communities around the country. And in [the city], we had a pilot program for the one on Mays Street, if you remember, that's probably going back almost 10 years or so ago. It didn't work too well, it wasn't too attractive.”
The pilot program ended in 2013. However, Wiseman said that interest in food truck parks has remained and contributed to previous amendments regarding food trucks. More recently, there has been a desire for those which allow vendors to remain overnight. For example, the city was approached by Micro-Bac International, which is located near the Amazon Delivery Station, as the company wanted to provide a food truck park for its employees to have access to lunch options, Wiseman said.
“They're a captive audience with Amazon and drivers needing quick food options and there's not really a lot of quick food options over in that immediate area,” he said. “So they approached us at the end of last year to look at actually having a food trailer park on their site.”
In addition to allowing mobile food establishment parks, the ordinance amendments would add an additional requirement that all food trucks need to be “on wheels and drivable,” or have a hitch in place for it to be mobile while occupying a park area. Under the proposed changes, private areas owned by homeowner associations would be added as available locations for short- and long-term food truck permits.
With the commission’s recommendation, Round Rock City Council must approve the changes to the ordinance before it can go into effect. Council is scheduled to hear the amendments July 8.