Wilmington city planners may be done fine-tuning proposed regulations that would give food trucks more freedom to operate.
On Wednesday, the city’s planning commission met with staff to reconsider rules for the trucks.
James Smith, who owns the Patty Wagon, asked the city for the new rules after learning current rules only allow him to visit a single location for seven consecutive days or two consecutive weekends. After that, he can’t return for 45 days.
Smith proposed allowing trucks to operate between 6 a.m. and 3 a.m. year-round in nonresidential areas.
On June 5, the planning commission opted to delay voting on the proposal so they could pare it down to accommodate concerns about allowing trucks to operate 21 hours a day.
While food truck operators want the city to add rules accommodating them, some restaurant owners are concerned about the possibility food trucks could siphon away customers.
The latest rules
After hearing concerns about his initial proposal, Smith met with some downtown restaurant owners. Ultimately, he revised his proposal so that food trucks operating downtown would have more restrictions than elsewhere in the city.
At a Wednesday morning work session, the planning commission seemed to agree on the major components of the new rules.
The rules include these main provisions:
Mobile food units apply to receive an annual permit from the city
Food trucks must receive permission from the owner to be on their property
Food trucks have to be 75 feet away from the main entrance of an open restaurant (or 25 feet for food carts less than 5 feet in length).
In the downtown central business district:
Food trucks can only spend a maximum of five hours on a specific site
Only one truck can be on a single site per day
A single food truck can operate at no more than two sites per day.
The commission will vote on those rules at its July 10 meeting. After that, the city council will consider its recommendation and vote on the proposal.