If you enjoy your meals on wheels, you might like a recent decision by the Rock Hill City Council.
Council members approved a change Monday to Rock Hill’s zoning laws that will allow food trucks to operate in more areas and events.
Food trucks will be allowed to operate in Rock Hill:
▪ During special events, such as Food Truck Friday events
▪ At locations approved by the planning commision in a pedestrian-oriented area.
▪ As an accessory to a craft brewery or retailer with more than 100,000 square feet of space.
Previously, food trucks could sell only during special events in Rock Hill. But the council accepted the city staff’s recommended changes, which staff said would allow more “buzz.”
Neighborhoods and communities would be encouraged to come before the planning commission to petition for food truck visits, according to Bill Meyer, Rock Hill’s planning and development director. He said this would allow much more organization than fielding several offers from individual food trucks.
A property owner must have written permission to allow food trucks on their property, cannot create any safety or traffic hazards, and must remove all garbage.
“Our whole intent is that you start to create the buzz of the overall destination,” Meyer said. “When it’s done judiciously, you reach a higher overall activity. You don’t want to oversaturate the area.”
A property owner must have written permission to allow food trucks on their property, cannot create any safety or traffic hazards, and must remove all garbage, according to the updated ordinance.
Meyer said the food trucks would be a boon for craft breweries, which are not required by state law to have a full kitchen. He said he’s received interest from “five or six” craft brewery seeking opportunities to locate in Rock Hill.
The city recently made it easier for craft breweries to pick out spots in Rock Hill.
Meyer said the decision also would help York Technical College, which will need food trucks to serve students while its leaders convert a library into a learning commons that will offer food starting in 2019.
Our whole intent is that you start to create the buzz of the overall destination. You don’t want to oversaturate the area.
Bill Meyer, Rock Hill’s planning and development director
Rock Hill City Council member Kevin Sutton voted against the measure. He said more food trucks would compete with traditional restaurants.
“Does that not create an unfair business model (to compete with) restaurants downtown that are paying property taxes?” Sutton asked.
Meyer said restaurants in other cities often welcome food trucks because it provides more activity and foot traffic. He said the planning commission would be “naturally conservative” in the beginning with applications that come in.
He pointed out possible areas that could come to the planning commission to get permission for food trucks, such as the Riverwalk community, the downtown area, Fountain Park or the planned University Center.
“It’s the community asking for it, not the vendor,” Meyer said.
New city vehicles
The Rock Hill City Council approved $3.9 million to buy 40 new city vehicles.
New vehicles will include four marked police sport utility vehicles, 12 Interceptor sedans, two dump trucks, a 31-yard automated trash truck and a $682,000 fire pumper truck.