Sequim, WA: Sequim Planners OK Regulations for Food Truck Locations

via yelp

By Joe Smillie  | Peninsula Daily News

via yelp
via yelp

Although it has not answered the question of whether food trucks can ever set up downtown, the city’s Planning Commission has approved new limits for food truck locations.

“For now, that’s still unresolved,” Sequim Community Development Director Chris Hugo said of a suggestion that the city allow food trucks downtown for special events.

“The Planning Commission is looking for more input from the business community before they bring that back.”

The issue now affects one food truck, Maggie May’s Espresso & Outfitter.

The Planning Commission on Tuesday night decided to recommend to the City Council north-south boundaries for food trucks downtown: Fir Street on the north and U.S. Highway 101 on the south.

It did not take a stand on a proposal that would have allowed food trucks downtown on special occasions, including the First Friday Art Walk each month.

The commission wants more information from downtown business owners.

Downtown objections

Maggie May’s owner, Maggie Parks, set up her food truck downtown during the Sequim-Dungeness Valley Chamber Merchants’ “Moonlight Madness” sale in July.

That resulted in calls to City Hall from downtown business owners who objected to food trucks being allowed downtown.

Hugo brought proposed changes to the Planning Commission in November.

Ever allowed?

Parks asked Hugo on Tuesday night whether her truck — recently named the second-best food truck in Western Washington by Seattle’s NBC television affiliate, KING 5 — would ever be allowed to set up downtown.

“Are we going to be able to allow food trucks in during special events and festivals?” she asked.

Hugo said yes, if the sponsor of the event, when applying for a permit, indicated the truck would be in the exempt downtown area.

“If you’re covered by the sponsors of the special event . . . you’re good,” he said.

The city passed its “mobile food service vendors” ordinance in 2012.

The law banned food trucks from downtown, defined as between Fifth Avenue on the west and Brown Avenue on the east, without setting north or south boundaries.

Hugo said that could have been interpreted to mean Parks was violating the rules when she sets up her truck on Sequim Avenue north of Fir Street across from the Sequim High School, usually a twice-weekly stop for her truck.

“She’s really not competing with any other business down there, so I don’t see why it should be a problem,” Hugo said.