Following the success on the recent Freight Train Food Truck Festival last October, the city of Tomball is looking to further capitalize on the gourmet food truck trend.

At its Dec. 19 meeting, the Tomball City Council voted to adopt a new land use category—Mobile Food Court—on its first reading that would allow business owners to create an outdoor dining area with multiple food trucks parked for an extended period of time. City Council will still need to adopt the zoning category at the second reading before it will be officially implemented.

“Over [the] last year or two, we’ve been approached with multiple requests for a mobile food court establishment, possibly one on the far west side of town, central and other areas as well,” Community Development Director Craig Meyers said. “With that feedback we’ve been getting from some prospects, we’ve decided to propose amendments to zoning to address mobile food courts.”

Attached to one of the proposed projects are Tomball Mayor Gretchen Fagan and her husband, Mike. The couple also owns a Farmers Insurance agency on Main Street near the depot plaza. A location for the park and the names of the food trucks have not yet been announced.

“We eat at every restaurant, and we never eat at home, so our objective is to diversify into food,” Mike said. “The food truck thing has become millennial—it’s become crazy. It’s going to be a first class place; it’s going to be run by us. It’s not going to be trashy by any stretch of the imagination.”

As a part owner, Gretchen recused herself from discussion and voting. Mayor Pro Tem Chad Degges led the meeting during the two agenda items related to food truck courts: one which created the new land use and another which amended a city ordinance to lessen restrictions on food trucks parked in the court.

The move comes after a strict city ordinance adopted by the city in August banned food trucks from parking in the city for more than four hours. However, similar food truck park concepts have recently popped up in surrounding areas, including Deacon Baldy’s in Magnolia and Bernie’s Backyard in Spring.

Council Member Field Hudgens raised concerns about the length of time the trucks would be allowed to park at the court and how the trucks would be cleaned. However, Mike said the trucks are required to maintain health permits from Harris County, and facilities would be provided on-site to responsibly dispose of any hazardous waste, like used cooking oil.

“The inside container is going to be the chef’s operation—they have to abide by all the laws of the state,” Mike said. “They have to go by the same laws as a regular restaurant.”

While Mike said nearby food truck parks do not have any time limits on how long the trucks can stay parked, Tomball City Council ultimately approved the land use with the stipulation that trucks can only park for a maximum of six months at a time.

The land use ordinance will come up for a final reading during the next Tomball City Council meeting on Jan. 9.