By Bob Sandrick | Cleaveland.com
NORTH ROYALTON, Ohio — The city will consider allowing food trucks in town after a North Royalton business owner said he wants to operate one.
Ryan Sacha — co-owner of Blue Monkey Brewing Co. at the northwest corner of Wallings and State roads — told City Council’s Building and Building Codes Committee Sept. 15 that his proposed food truck, if the city allows it, would not compete with or hurt local restaurants.
“We are still working on finding a balance between food truck operators and local restaurants,” council President Paul Marnecheck told cleveland.com on Monday (Nov. 23) when asked about the status of potential food truck legislation and regulations.
“The discussion is ongoing and will continue in January,” he said.
According to a September article on the U.S. Census Bureau website, the number of food trucks in the United States has been rising, from 3,281 in 2013 to 5,970 in 2018. Food truck sales rose by 79 percent between 2012 and 2017, from $660.5 million to $1.2 billion.
Among states, Ohio was eighth in the nation when it comes to the number of mobile food service establishments, with 201 in 2018. California was on top with 753 food trucks.
Franklin County, which contains Columbus, was 18th among U.S. counties, with 43 food trucks in 2018. Los Angeles County in California was first, with 161 food trucks, accord to the Census Bureau article.
Among the Ohio 82 corridor communities in Cuyahoga County, food trucks are permitted in both Strongsville and Broadview Heights. In Brecksville, Mayor Jerry Hruby told cleveland.com that food trucks haven’t “been an issue,” but didn’t say whether they were allowed under city code.
In North Royalton, Tom Jordan, the city’s director of community development, told council Sept. 15 that municipal code permits food trucks in town only for special events such as the city’s annual Home Days.
Sacha wants that to change. He told council there’s not enough room in his brewery — which opened last year — to serve food. He said a food truck would supplement the brewery and help his business survive. And rather than take business away from brick-and-mortar restaurants, it would attract more people to town, thus helping restaurants, he said.
Sacha wasn’t clear on what his food truck would serve, although he said he would partner with a North Royalton pizzeria. Neither did he say where it would be located. He didn’t return calls for comment.
Councilmen Jeremy Dietrich and Vincent Weimer expressed support for allowing food trucks in North Royalton.
Committee Chairperson Linda Barath asked council’s legislative services staff to research how other communities regulate food trucks and report back to the committee.