Carolina Beach town leaders are cooking up a plan to keep outsiders from hurting existing businesses by regulating food trucks.
Under a proposed amendment to the current ordinance, food truck owners must have had some type of eating establishment open in Carolina Beach for at least a year before operating a food truck.
The town's planning and zoning board unanimously passed the food truck amendment Thursday.
According to town leaders, the previous ordinance wasn't specific to food trucks. Instead, food trucks fell under what the ordinance calls “itinerant merchants.”
The amendment also allows food trucks in nonresidential zoning districts, creates an annual fee of $100 for food truck owners, requires permits valid for a calendar year and allows owners to sell food on other properties as long as the property owner gives the OK.
Patrick Puffpaff owns the Street Treats food truck that sits behind his restaurant Pop’s Diner. He said he welcomes the regulations, but is flexible with food truck owners who may not also have a restaurant in town.
"I don't mind if there's other food trucks that come down here as long as it's not being taken advantage of," Puffpaff said. "I understand that local businesses care and I care too, but if it's for a special event, like somebody really wanted that food truck to come down here and serve them the food that they asked for, I'm cool with that, but just food trucks coming down when they want and setting up, I kind of disagree to it unless they're local.”
Puffpaff said he doesn’t want too much competition.
“As long as it’s not tons of food trucks, I don’t mind a couple, but then you’re taking away from me,” he said.
The town also unanimously approved an update Thursday to an article that allows for more efficient enforcement of unkempt yards.
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