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Maplewood City Council Votes to Allow Food Trucks

Food truck operators will be given a 6-month trial period in Maplewood.

Back in June, it looked like food trucks was a dead issue in Maplewood, but it came back to life last month and passed city council on Tuesday.

The council unanimously passed a 6-month trial period for food trucks, in spite of objections from the Maplewood Chamber of Commerce and various restaurant owners at previous meetings.

City Manager Martin Corcoran said the ordinance will become law after a 15-day waiting period.

After the meeting, Adrian Glass, co-owner of The Post Bar and Grill, said restaurants in the delivery business, like Jimmy John’s and Imo’s Pizza, will suffer the most, but in the end food trucks will be a moot point.

He said the only place that food trucks will be able to viably operate will be Sunnen Business park. The trucks will be limited to Sunnen Park and Deer Creek Center.

“I don’t perceive food trucks being able to garner enough business out of Sunnen Business Park for them to remain in Maplewood all that long,” he said.

St. Louis area food truck owner Tom Broadwell said he hasn't seen the details of what the council will allow, "but any movement towards allowing food trucks is a move in the right direction. Now, lets keep on Food Truckin!"

After the six-month trial period, the city council will compare restaurants' sales for each month with the same month in the prior year, then make a decision whether or not to continue to allow food trucks.

Among others regulations, food trucks owners must follow these restrictions:

  • Food trucks can operate only in light manufacturing zoning districts, which include Sunnen Business Park and the Deer Creek Center.
  • They must have a business license from the city clerk, which is a minimum of $75.
  • The trucks are prohibited on vacant, uninhabited or unimproved lots.
  • They can't be within 1,000 feet of another food truck except for special events approved by the city.
  • Trucks can't operate between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m.
  • Only sales of food and beverages are permitted.

Also in Patch:

  • Maplewood Council Gives 2 Votes to Food Trucks
  • Food Trucks May Be in Maplewood by November
  • Food Truck Owners Speak Out at Maplewood Council
Becca Christensen October 24, 2012 at 10:46 PM
Someone commented on the PD story on this decision about the restriction of the trucks not being within 1,000 feet of each other and I just want to echo that here. Why? What purpose does that serve except to make it harder for the food trucks to operate at all?
Gary P. October 25, 2012 at 05:36 AM
It's a shame that city leaders in Maplewood have completely disregarded the advice of its Chamber of Commerce, a collection of business leaders with much more knowledge of this issue, and thrown brick and mortar restaurants in the city under the bus. While I agree with Adrian Glass that food trucks....given the limited space they are allowed to operate in...will probably be a moot point in 6 months, the fact remains that city leaders chose not to protect existing businesses from these predators. The idea that food trucks bring people into the city might have been the craziest notion that I have ever heard. These "businesses" only seek to enter an area like Maplewood, where other businesses have put in the hard work and dedication to grow the area, and slice off a piece of the financial pie for themselves, and then leave. When a city like Maplewood asks its business community to come up with extra in the form of transportation district taxes and Special Business District taxes, I believe it must return that committment in kind and protect those same businesses from unfair trade practices from outside sources. Today it is members of the foodservice community in Maplewood, but who knows what enterprising venture will come 10 or 20 years down the road that may threaten other brick and mortar businesses in Maplewood. That the elected members of the city council so completely ignored the advice of the Chamber should be cause for alarm to any business in Maplewood.

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