Food truck regulations in Huntsville got final approval from the City Council Tuesday.
However, last-minute changes to the city’s proposed food truck ordinance removed location regulations, allowing mobile vendors the ability to locate next to established restaurants.
The second and final vote on the contentious topic ended months of debate and negotiations between the city and Huntsville Planning Commission. But these regulations will only affect new entrepreneurs who will put the new rules to use.
“We want to encourage small businesses to come to this city, rather on wheels or a permanent structure,” councilmember Daiquiri Beebe. We don’t need to limit people who want to do business in this city.”
However, two regulations that some say will hurt the city’s ability to attract new food trucks were approved. Mobile food trucks will only be permitted to operate between the hours of 6 a.m. and midnight, and will also be banned from operating within the downtown cultural district.
“We have a unique downtown area and I am opposed to anything that takes away from its uniqueness,” Mayor Andy Brauninger said. “I want to make it grow and I don’t see food trucks as part of that picture right now.”
Food trucks will however, be able to operate in the downtown area on special events hosted by the city, county, school or chamber of commerce.
Huntsville now joins the near 20 cities in Texas that regulate food trucks and/ or food truck parks. There are currently four food truck parks operating within Huntsville city limits.