Nothing but praise for food trucks at public hearing

Nothing but praise for food trucks at public hearing

After wending its way through three of the four steps necessary to become law, one thing seems clear about Brentwood’s proposed food truck legislation: it’s not that controversial.

At the legislation’s first reading, its consideration by the Planning Commission on Feb. 6 and its public hearing Monday night, no serious misgivings were voiced concerning food trucks in Brentwood.

On the contrary, feedback has been almost uniformly positive, with some discussion of finer details of the legislation provoking minimal debate here and there, but no larger disagreements emerging.

The city’s seeming receptivity to a more expanded food truck presence in Brentwood was most apparent at the public hearing at Monday’s Board of Commissioners meeting.

There, food truck representatives and a Brentwood resident spoke up in favor of the legislation. Commissioners noted that they had not heard much, if anything, negative about the proposals.

Dallas Shaw, president of the Nashville Food Truck Association, addressed the commission during the hearing, while many NFTA members looked on from the crowd.

“On behalf of the group, I want to thank the Brentwood commissioners for their hard work and finding a way to allow mobile vendors to serve in many different zones in Brentwood,” he said.

Shaw said that the NFTA represented nearly 90 hardworking food truck owners, many of whom were looking forward to the opportunity to provide food to Brentwood workers and residents. He also touched upon some of the positive impacts he thought more food trucks would have in Brentwood.

“Brentwood workers are looking for a more convenient food option as traffic congestion continues to rise, and allowing food trucks to park at offices in for example Maryland Farms could keep 50 to 100 cars off the road during the busy lunch hour,” he said.

Jason Grant was the only Brentwood resident to address the commission during the public hearing. As long as they adhered to the relevant food safety rules and regulations, Grant said he was all for more food trucks in the city.

“It’s a great option for those that work predominantly in business districts,” he said. “You’ve all heard from your constituents how bad traffic is. Lunch time’s no different. It saves a trip a lot of times.”

Vice-Mayor Jill Burgin thanked Shaw and the other NFTA members who showed up for the hearing, and complimented them on the advice they were able to provide the city as the food truck legislation was being designed.

“It was nice to get their perspective on an ordinance that we were basically starting from scratch,” she said. “I appreciate their professional approach to that.”

Two commissioners said they had not heard anything negative from their constituents about the food truck issue.

“It was good to see the food truck people come tonight, and I will say that I have not received one email against food trucks,” Commissioner Anne Dunn said. “I think that they’re going to be popular and delicious, and they’ll be well-monitored, and I think this will be an addition to our community.”

Commissioner Ken Travis agreed.

“I, like Commissioner Dunn, have not heard of any negatives from the brick and mortar restaurants…It’s been universally accepted,” he said.

The next and final step for the city’s two food truck ordinances will be the ordinances’ second and final reading at the Board of Commissioners meeting on Feb. 27.

For more information about the two food truck ordinances, check out this explanatory slideshow created by the City of Brentwood.

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