Denton is Open for Food Trucks!
Way back in September, the Denton City Council gave clear direction to the city staff to work on an ordinance aimed at allowing and encouraging a culture of food trucks within the city of Denton. You might even recall that I held a public event at my house prior to that meeting to get feedback from interested citizens. After months of waiting, council finally got to see a proposed ordinance at our April 3 meeting. The first go at a new ordinance was, in my opinion and seemingly the opinion of most other council members, too restrictive and overly-regulatory – see my comments on that here. After giving plenty of feedback, we were supposed to see a newly revised ordinance in June. Then it was delayed until August. Meanwhile, just about every city around us found a way to take advantage of this new food craze without much delay – lesser cities in the DFW area have already established food parks and are on regular rotation for DFW food trucks.
If you’ve been following this, you might recall the one element of our city ordinance that prevented food trucks, beyond the construction site lunch wagon, from doing business in Denton – a rule that limited mobile food trucks from stopping at a given location for more than 15 minutes.
While we are waiting on the final touches on our new food ordinance, the city’s Planning Director released an “Informal Staff Report” to the council in our weekly packet last Friday which read:
“Lacking any authority to support the restriction of a mobile food truck’s duration of stay at a given location, the City will discontinue the application of this practice, until such time, when and/or if, the City Council adopts such a restriction.”
In order to clarify that this meant what I thought it meant, I asked a couple questions of city staff and received this reply:
“The only thing Denton currently requires beyond the enforcement of the State regulations (§229.169) is the requirement of a valid food service permit, which must be kept in the vehicle at all times. This permit is issued through the Building Inspections Division, who also administers and enforce the requirements under §229.169.”
This effectively removes the previous barriers to mobile food truck operations in Denton. Spread the word!
I would encourage all interested mobile food truck operators to consult with our Building Inspections Division for what they need to do to get rolling in Denton.