By Samantha Manning | Wate.com
KNOXVILLE (WATE) – Knoxville officials held a public meeting Wednesday night at the Knoxville Chamber Partnership to discuss possible changes to polices for food trucks.
The room was packed with interested parties, leaving some to stand against the wall.
As the law is written now, food trucks are not permitted to sell on private or public property unless there is a special event, such as the farmer’s market.
Food truck vendors are hoping to change that.
“We’ve been working with the city since January of this year about the food truck pilot program,” said Byron Sabat, owner of Savory & Sweet Food Truck.
Some local restaurant owners, including Paula West of Oodles Uncorked, say they support the presence of food trucks, but want to be sure there are regulations for the permitted locations.
“Our main concern is just that they provide a designated area so restaurants that are here 365 days a year aren’t there right on top of them,” West said. “A certain distance where they’re not just pulling in right in front of a business that’s already set up there.”
City officials say there has been a growing interest in food trucks throughout the city.
“We’ve noticed on farmer’s market particularly, all the food trucks and the popularity of them,” said Rick Emmett, who is downtown coordinator for the City of Knoxville.
Emmett said the city would need to pass an ordinance to change the law if they decide to go with a pilot program or a permanent plan.
“It really just will help all the businesses in the areas we come to because we bring people to the location,” Sabat pointed out.