By Rachel Wittrock | SWNewsMedia
There will be no limits to how often a food truck can come into Jordan. City council members on Monday night amended the proposed food truck policy to remove the restriction that would have limited each food truck to three days a month.
The initial reason for the restriction was to try and strike a balance between food trucks and existing businesses. However, no local business owners voiced any opposition to food trucks when the issue was discussed at the Planning Commission or at the previous council meeting.
As the discussion began, council member Terry Stier made a motion to approve the original motion, with the option to loosen the ordinance down the road. Council member Jeff Will seconded the motion.
“I would rather do it the other direction and do the experiment with more competition and not less,” council member Mike Franklin said.
Franklin said he would rather start with no restrictions on the number of times a food truck can operate in town.
“I think we should start with the chance of more food trucks rather than fewer, and if there is a problem, then we ration it back,” Franklin said.
Council member Jeremy Goebel said he agreed with Franklin. “After I read this I was like ‘Oh my gosh,’ we wrote this thing up like there is a huge food truck pandemic and we need to stop it,” Goebel said of the original policy language.
Council member Brenda Lieske disagreed with Goebel and Franklin.
“I was on the Planning Commission and I think one reason why you didn’t hear from the business owners is I think we came up with a reasonable start to this,” Lieske said. “It does not limit the number of food trucks – you could have 8,000 — but they can only come in one time (one Friday-Sunday) a month.”
Lieske added that she thought the original motion with the three-day restriction was a good start and could always be expanded.
Franklin argued that there are only so many food trucks and said they would not come to Jordan at all with the restriction.
“I don’t see that works. I would rather get them coming here when our tap room opens…and if we have a problem, let’s fix the problem,” Franklin said.
Mayor Tanya Velishek also said the food trucks could be a benefit during the work week.
“You have to have something for people to eat quick. Some people can take that hour break, but there are people that can’t take an hour break and cannot drive to the other side of town to McDonald’s,” Velishek said.
Will said he thought the busiest time for food trucks would be on the weekend and that the ordinance was not crafted with the thought of local people in shops during the week.
“To me where I feel that this is so restrictive – we want them to come. We are trying to create this vibe and this atmosphere of Jordan where we want you to come downtown, we want you to enjoy not just the restaurants, we want you to enjoy everything. This is another service for the consumer,” Goebel said.
“I work in downtown Minneapolis and they (food trucks) are everywhere. There are lots of brick and mortar, and there are a lot of food trucks,” he continued. “There are entire streets full of them and there are lines for every one of them. To me, if we get any of that here…to get a taste of it and bring it to Jordan would be a great thing.”
Stier made a motion to change his motion and approve the amended food truck policy, and Will amended his second on the motion.
The motion to approve the ordinance without the restriction on number of days allowed was approved 6-1 by the council; Lieske cast the sole “no” vote.