City loosens restrictions on food trucks


FILE - Dane Henderson, from the American Lunch food truck, hands sweet iced tea to a customer.

Andrea Sarcos/The Gainesville Sun
Published: Thursday, August 7, 2014 at 9:45 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, August 7, 2014 at 9:45 p.m.

Local residents who love food trucks and want to see more of them downtown are in luck.

The Gainesville City Commission voted Thursday to amend the Land Development Code to increase the number of food truck-related events allowed within the Central City District.

Food trucks are permitted as part of the special event permitting process for a zoning district -- events that could be held once every 60 days for the Central City District, according to a staff presentation.

Thanks to the commission’s decision on Thursday, business and property owners within the Central City District will now be allowed to host a food truck special event up to once a month instead.

These special events are to be limited to private property and can be held between 5 p.m. and midnight, according to the city agenda.

Basically, the Central City District includes the historic core of Gainesville, City Manager Russ Blackburn told The Sun.

“The current code really only allowed food trucks where the property was zoned for a restaurant, essentially,” he said.

With the new rules approved Thursday, that is no longer the case.

Blackburn said the city made this change in response to the increasing popularity of food trucks. This gives the city the guidelines and structure for allowing food trucks in the Central City District.

Food trucks must be licensed to operate by the state and must get any approvals needed from the city of Gainesville and the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation, according to a staff presentation. They must also comply with state and county health department licensing requirements necessary for preparing and selling food.

The City Commission quickly approved the food truck ordinance Thursday evening 4-0, with Commissioners Craig Carter, Lauren Poe, Randy Wells and Helen Warren present.

Contact Morgan Watkins at 338-3104 or morgan.watkins@gainesville.com.

Reader comments posted to this article may be published in our print edition. All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be re-published without permission. Links are encouraged.

▲ Return to Top