Nederland details effort to form Food Truck Regulation Committee; asking for public help

Published 12:18 am Friday, August 18, 2023

NEDERLAND — Nederland leaders are hoping a solution to the topic of food truck regulations can be found with the help of a committee.

City Council is establishing a 10-member Food Truck Regulation Committee consisting of city leaders and people in the food industry to review the city’s regulations.

Applications are available on the city’s Facebook page and webpage and are due by the end of the business day Sept. 1.

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Mayor Don Albanese said they have heard from restaurant owners and food truck operators in the past regarding the regulations.

City Manager Chris Duque said council made changes to the regulations last winter and wanted to revisit the issue this summer, which they are.

The 10-member committee will consist of two staff members including the city manager and building official, two city council members and the other six from the community.

Duque said council would prefer to have two local restaurant owners, two food truck operators preferably from Nederland, and two Nederland residents who would like to offer input.

From there the council will pick the committee members from the applications submitted.

Duque said once the committee is formed, he would like to go over the current rules with them and explain how they work. Food vendors will be able to explain how the regulations work for them.

The topic of food trucks came to the forefront in 2019 with mobile vendors bringing samples of neighboring cities’ rules to the city for discussion. But there are also brick and mortar restaurant owners who worry food trucks will take away their sales.
Duque said one of the current rules food truck owners are hoping to reverse is a requirement to be tied to an existing business such as having a food truck for a customer appreciation day or other types of events.

But there is a limit to this. They can operate not more than 12 times a year, once a month and for three days straight.

Duque said he hopes to present the committee’s recommendations to council by Oct. 23.

In December 2022, council unanimously voted to deny a recommendation to remove the “special occasion” clause food truck operators are currently abiding by to function in Nederland.

This decision came a month after three members of Nederland’s Planning and Zoning Commission voted unanimously to recommend city leaders remove the “special occasion” clause.