Food trucks could be spreading into new areas of Brentwood as early as next week.
After amended versions of two ordinances related to mobile food vending were passed at the Board of Commissioners meeting Monday night, things are looking up.
Prior to the ordinances’ passage, food trucks were prohibited in commercial areas of the city, like Maryland Farms, where retail sales were banned. Monday night’s vote changes that.
It also changes the procedures that service institutions like schools and churches have to go through to hire food trucks for special events. Under the new laws, those institutions will not have to get a permit if they hold an event with just one or two food trucks. At rallies with up to 10 trucks, they will need a permit, but they will be able to get one from a city staffer rather than having to appeal to the Planning Commission for one.
City Manager, Kirk Bednar, said that a special meeting would be held for food truck vendors on Wednesday, March 8 at the Brentwood Library. At that meeting, vendors will be able to discuss the ordinances with city staff and pick up the permit applications they need to set up in Brentwood. Bednar said that the city would get to processing those applications right away.
Nashville Food Truck Association President Dallas Shaw said he heard from city staff that food trucks could potentially start operating in Brentwood as early as Thursday, March 9. Not a day too soon for Shaw, who has been involved in the effort to allow food trucks throughout Brentwood since 2014. The year of 2014 was when the city began to more assiduously enforce its prohibition of food trucks in commercial-only areas.
“I think we’re all excited,” Shaw, who operates the Hoss’ Loaded Burgers food truck, said of the commissioners’ vote Monday night.
Since 2014, Shaw said, the NFTA has been self-policing as far as Brentwood is concerned, not allowing any of its members to skirt city regulations by serving food here. There will be no need to do that, though, from now on.
“All of us have been very eager to get our permits and serve hungry customers” in Brentwood, Shaw said.
Food truck owner Tristan Chiu, who runs the Bao Down truck, said he works with a business that caters in Maryland Farms. He is looking forward to being able to join them.
“It’ll be nice to be able to come with a truck and get things rolling,” he said.
Operator of the Steaming Goat food truck, Jeff Romstedt, said that Monday’s vote means he can stop disappointing people from Brentwood who have asked him to drive here and sell food.
“We get a lot of requests, and we get tired of saying, I’m sorry we can’t,” he said.
Blue Monkey Shaved Ice truck owner, Dave Wong, agreed. “I had to turn down a lot of requests, but I’m happy we’ll be able to fill them now,” he said.
The ordinances that passed Monday night were slightly different from the ones previously considered by the Board of Commissioners and the Planning Commission. Some minor changes were made based on suggestions the city received from both boards, City Attorney Roger Horner said.
For instance, one of the ordinances was amended to make it necessary for a vendor to provide a certificate of insurance coverage when applying for an operating permit. Another amendment removed a requirement that a food truck could only set up within 150 feet of a bathroom.
Each of these changes, along with the newfound freedom of food trucks, will make Brentwood a more well-rounded, fun place to be.