The Mesquite City Council unanimously approved amendments to zoning ordinances concerning mobile food units.
Mobile food units include ice cream trucks, catering trucks, food trucks and pushcarts.
Previously, food trucks and pushcarts were only allowed at events where the host of the event held an event permit.
Push carts were previously treated like stationary food vendors at events. They were not permitted to move their carts around the city.
“They could come to a special event, and they can set up their food cart just like someone might do with a booth or table with food,” Jeff Armstrong, director of planning and development services, said.
The amendment will allow pushcarts to move throughout the Downtown Main Street program area.
Food trucks will be required to have an annual health permit and must adhere to health, fire and safety codes. They will also need to provide an annual itinerary to the city and establish a base of operations.
“They can’t just sit somewhere forever. They need to be based somewhere where they can properly dispose of liquid waste and so forth,” Armstrong said.
Armstrong said a major change to the ordinance will include setting up a process to allow businesses to invite food trucks onto their property. For private property, the business owner will have to apply for a six-month permit to allow food trucks of their choice onto their property. Food truck operators will have to apply to the city to sell food on public property.
The amendment will also allow the establishment of a food truck park. It will be allowed in any district that allows restaurants and provides a permanent location for food trucks provided it’s at least 200 feet from residential dwellings, no drive-thru abilities, proper signage and other necessary stipulations. Food trucks could come and go as long as they meet the requirements of the park.
“Think like a food court that you would find at a mall, but in this case, it’s full of food trucks,” Armstrong said.
The food truck park will have permanent seating, restrooms, dumpsters and other amenities.