Food truck operators look to loosen Nederland regulations

Published 12:18 am Friday, February 16, 2024

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NEDERLAND — City leaders anticipate loosening Nederland’s food truck requirements by the end of this month, but locals shouldn’t expect a major influx of mobile eating options within city limits.

The city’s planning and zoning commission is scheduled to meet Feb. 20 to review potential ordinance changes recommended by a recently formed food truck committee.

The planning and zoning commission is expected to approve the recommendations, which would lead to a final Nederland City Council decision, most likely on Feb. 26. If approved, the changes would take effect next month.

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“I think the food truck operators were clear, even with this opening, still right now, these food truck operators are making more of their money working in industry catering or in industry jobs versus working at a street in Nederland,” City Manager Chris Duque said. “They may continue to focus on that.”

The discussed items include:

Maintaining the language for permits for special events – local business may secure this permit (one permit a month for a one-day special event) for food truck businesses that are not located in Nederland.

Adding an Annual Food Truck Permit ($500) – limited to 8 permits for only applicants who have a brick and mortar business located in the City or are a resident utilizing a homestead exemption in the City.

Food truck shall not conduct business within 200 feet of the primary entrance of an operating food service establishment unless the owner of the food service establishment provides written approval.

Food truck shall not conduct business within 50 feet of a residential structure. Nonprofit clubs and organizations may sell merchandise and/or food and drink for no more than 14 consecutive days and no more than 90 days total per year.

“We have talked about the possibility of even providing access to some of the public properties such as the park on weekends, respective of events they would like to host,” Duque said. “But that would have to be worked out.”

City officials stressed this particular ordinance doesn’t deal with catering questions, as they fall under a different umbrella.


At the Sept. 11 meeting, the City Council established a temporary 10-member food truck committee to discuss regulations and possibly recommend revisions.

The committee included the city manager, building official, Councilman Randy Sonnier, Councilwoman Sylvia Root, Keith Bass, Joe Oates, Al Judice, Remi Bryan, Lance Howell and Nathan Huckaby.

The Committee met Sept. 26, Nov. 9, Nov. 27 and Dec. 14.

In December 2022, the city 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.