JCC food truck amendment rolls closer to finish line

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Carol Kennedy passes a plate to a customer July 7. (Kirsten Petersen/ WYDaily)
Carol Kennedy passes a plate to a customer at FoodaTude food truck. (Kirsten Petersen/ WYDaily)

Food truck vendors are one step closer to being able to operate within James City County.

On Wednesday, the county’s Planning Commission voted unanimously to initiate the consideration of amendments to ordinances pertaining to food trucks.

The amendment, if passed by the county’s Board of Supervisors, would allow food trucks to serve food in zoning districts classified M-1 Limited Business/Industrial Zoning, M-2 General Industrial Zoning, PL Public Lands, and PUD-C Planned Unit and Development-Commercial.

The draft ordinance received an outpouring of support from the county’s mobile food vendors at last month’s Policy Committee Meeting.

“Tonight was a procedural step for state codes,” said county Planning Director Paul Holt.  The next step for the proposed amendment will take place at next week’s Policy Committee meeting.

“If they vote to move it forward it will come back here for public hearing,” said Holt, referring to October’s Planning Commission meeting. “Then, if passed, it will go back to the Board [of Supervisors] in November.”

The Board would then have the opportunity to vote on the amendment to the ordinance, and their final approval would permit food trucks to operate on M-1, M-2, PL and PUD-C districts within the county.

However, food trucks would still not be permitted to operate on lands designated B-1 General Business if and when the proposed amendments are approved.  “Before B-1 could even be considered there would still need to be a subsequent initiating resolution,” said Holt.

Mobile food vendors may not have to wait long to operate in B-1 districts. Thursday’s Economic Development Authority meeting agenda also included a motion pertaining to food trucks. The EDA staff voted unanimously to authorize the Planning Commission and the Board of Supervisors to initiate a resolution to approve food trucks in the B-1 district.

Holt said it would be impossible to provide an exact timeline for the additional B-1 amendment, but public hearings on the issue would have to take place before the amendment could reach a vote.  According to Assistant County Attorney Max Hlavin, “My guess is that if it was initiated by the Board on Tuesday it would still be a month behind.”

“It will be a parallel track potentially with B-1, just a later start date,” said Policy Committee chairman Rich Krapf.  “This way we allow four of the districts to continue moving forward to fruition and the newcomer, B-1 if you will, will start its process just a little bit later.”