Groves continues conversation regarding food trucks

Published 12:26 am Sunday, September 4, 2022

GROVES — Work on a food truck/trailer ordinance for the City of Groves continues as leaders work on tweaking a draft of the rules.

Mayor Pro Tem Rhonda Dugas said the city council has a draft of the ordinance and members are reviewing it and considering additional standards, procedures and practices.

Protection of the city’s brick and mortar restaurants and food industry business operations area already established in the city is important, she said.

Subscribe to our free email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

The draft is patterned after ordinances in Nederland and Port Neches.

The draft ordinance is divided into three categories — one specifically for special events such as the Pecan Festival, Back to School Bash, National Night Out, water park events and downtown street events.

These events would not require a temporary license or fee but would require inspection by Building Official Don Pedraza and the fire department.

Sufficient parking space is required on all weather surfaces such as concrete/asphalt.

A second section pertains to nonprofits such as churches, Little League, soccer, Circle of Hope, Boy Scouts, Celebration Park events and “send me to camp” fundraising, Dugas said.

These events would be no more than 14 consecutive days and no more than 30 days per year. Other requirements include inspection and parking.

There are different rules for other vendors.

“In order to protect the Pecan Festival event and vendors who pay a fee to the Chamber of Commerce to have a spot in the festival, no food truck/trailer will be allowed outside the Pecan Festival perimeter or within 1,000 feet of the Pecan Festival,” Dugas said.

City leaders are not looking into zoning but at protecting the festival and vendors that come from out of town and pay a fee.

During a recent council meeting, Groves resident and businessman Richie Wolford questioned the areas, called C3’s, in which “other” food trucks are allowed to operate.

C3 refers to certain commercial, mostly industrial areas and are on portions of FM 366 and Texas 73, according to City Manager D. E. Sosa.

Wolford is located in a C2 area, meaning he can’t put a food truck/trailer on his business property. His desire is to operate the truck seven days a week, especially on weekends and be able to move it to other locations.

Dugas said there are many questions associated with issuing a permit in the C2 zone and those questions are being addressed with City Attorney Brandon Monk. A final draft will be presented to council at a later date for approval.