By Olivia Barrow | BizJournals.com
The city of Dayton is getting closer to allowing food trucks to operate on the street, but it is still imposing restrictions that food truck operators would rather do without.
Chief Engineer Keith Steeber has drafted a proposal of regulations that would allow food trucks to operate from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. in two zones in downtown, provided they meet the requirements and pay $80 for a 30-day permit.
The two zones are on Second Street in front of Cooper Park between North St. Clair Street and North Patterson Boulevard, and on West Third Street in front of Sinclair Community College.
Steeber said he is open to feedback from operators as he prepares to present the proposed regulations to the city manager.
Patrick Sartin, owner of local food truck Harvest Mobile Cuisine, said he isn’t thrilled with the proposed regulations.
“I think it’s still not totally allowing us as operators and owners to do what we want to do,” he said. “We need to be in places where the people are.”
Sartin said the time restrictions would prevent food trucks from accessing a crucial market — the baseball crowd during the Dragons’ season. And some food truck operators would like to cater to the late night crowd in the Oregon district, but the locations and time make that difficult. Other preferable spots would be right in the center of most of the downtown businesses, or near Riverscape during events held there.
“I’ve been operating in other cities that are fully welcoming,” he said. “It seems like they’re making it a little tough.”
Steeber said he hopes to get the proposal in front of the city commission in the next month, provided it gets the blessing of the city manager’s office. He intends for the regulations to be a living document that can be adjusted in the future as needs change without going through the city commission.
Steeber pointed out the city allows the trucks to operate on private property with permission of the owners, but this will be the first time food trucks will be openly allowed in certain locations on downtown streets.