Great Barrington food truck ordinance is parked
PITTSFIELD -- Food trucks won't be expanding lunch options in Great Barrington -- at least this year.
The Board of Selectmen agreed this week that a proposed food truck ordinance needs additional discussion and won't go before town voters for final approval until 2014.
There have been about a half-dozen food trucks this year that have inquired about operating in Great Barrington; in the meantime, each could seek a special permit to operate. Food trucks are eateries on wheels with food cooked to order and sold from a window.
Selectwoman Alana Chernila said the Selectmen heard from restaurateurs and their concerns should be weighed while considering bringing food trucks to town.
"I would urge you to be thoughtful about the [comments restaurateurs made about] restraints on restaurants," such as taking away some business in difficult economic conditions, Chernila said.
Following May's town meeting, the Health Department will be returning before the Selectmen with a map of downtown restaurants for further discussion on where food trucks could operate.
The bylaw before the Selectmen establishes a Mobile Food Vendors Committee to process food truck applications. The bylaw prohibits trucks from locating within 50 feet of a business, along with other regulations.
Selectmen on Monday were undecided whether food trucks should operate within downtown or other sections of the town.
There would need to be a zoning change to allow food trucks to establish locations outside of the B Zone, which extends from Castle Street to Elm Street from the north to the south.
In the B Zone, restaurants are allowed to operate by right without parking requirements.
Selectwoman Deborah Phillips had questions about the limited availability of parking spots.
"[Food trucks] take up two or three parking spots," she said.
Restaurateurs were solicited for feedback by town officials. Several stated that allowing food trucks within 50 feet was too close to their business. Others said Great Barrington has plenty of food options and questioned why food trucks were needed.
To reach John Sakata:
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On Twitter: @jsakata
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