By Sherri Thornhill | Inforney.com
At the Forney City Council meeting on November 20, 2012, the Council discussed changing a Food Truck Amendment that would make it easier for the trucks to come to Forney. They also voted on whether to change the zoning on two pieces of land so that small businesses and even gas stations could be located there.
The issue of food trucks has been brought up more recently because the trucks have gained significant popularity with consumers. These are not the trucks you will find at construction sites, these food trucks tend to be a bit gourmet and offer a variety of specialty foods. One of the most popular trucks, Rockn’ Rick’s, belongs to local Forney residents Ricky and Mary Ellen Minter. The Lady Jackrabbit’s Soccer Boosters recently held a fundraising event that included a host of local and Dallas area food trucks serving up delicious food for customers. The event was a success and organizers hope to grow it and improve on it next year.
The amendment being considered by the City Council had been approved by the Planning and Zoning Commission. It would have changed the food truck rule so that the trucks would not be required to pay a $50 fee and get inspected for every single event they attended in Forney. It would have instead required them to pay a annual $200 fee and be inspected just once during the year. The Council also considered changing the ordinance to have the trucks pay a $300 fee and be inspected twice a year. All the fees go to the inspector and the City does not make any money on those charges.
Councilman James Hatley felt that it would be safer to consumers if the trucks continued getting an inspection for each event. Councilman Andy Parker observed that local and state taxes are not generally collected by the food trucks, and that it may not be fair to the local restaurants who do pay taxes. The Council decided that at the moment, they do not want to amend the food trucks ordinance. City Manager Brian Brooks acknowledged the popularity of the trucks and overall the Council and Mayor support having the local food trucks at special events in Forney. The vote against the amendment was unanimous.
Retail Land Proposal
Local land owner Jim Bell addressed the Council to request that the southeast and northeast corners of FM 741 and Monitor, as well as the southeast corner of FM 1641 and Monitor have their zoning changed from Single Family Residential to Neighborhood Services. It would allow for small retail stores and the possibility of a gas station at the locations. Bell recently sold over 20 acres along FM 741 near Monitor to Lake Pointe Church which intends to build a new church at the site. Monitor, which leads down to Rhea Elementary will become a four lane divide to help improve traffic conditions. TXDot currently has no plans to add a traffic signal at Monitor on either FM 741 or FM 1641. There are also no plans in the works for TxDot to expand FM 1641.
Bell told the Council that both properties have garnered interest from businesses, particularly the FM 1641 property. No one from the public spoke for or against the proposals during the public hearing, and the Council voted unanimously to approve both requests for the FM 741 land and the FM 1641 land to have the zoning changed to Neighborhood Services.
City Managers Report
City Manager Brooks then took a few moments to introduce Forney’s first Fire Captain, Phillip Pyle, and to remind the community about the annual tree lighting ceremony on Main Street Tuesday, November 27 at 7 p.m. Brooks also mentioned that a thirdDowntown Workshop meeting will be held to discuss downtown revitalization efforts on Thursday, November 29 at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall.