Food trucks now have a smooth road to operate in Fort Mill

FORT MILL — Town council took action this week to avoid a repeat of the confusion and backlash over a cancelled food truck event downtown last spring.

Council voted 7-0 to approve first reading of a new ordinance regulating the operation of food trucks inside the town. The Jan. 14 vote followed a public hearing in which no one from the public requested to speak on the record.

If approved in a final reading, the new ordinance would limit food trucks to serving customers in areas under commercial, mixed-use or industrial zoning, require them to be parked beyond 200 feet of a restaurant and prohibit alcohol sales. Operators would have to display their health department inspection documentation and town business permit, among other rules.

The new ordinance was developed after the cancelled event at Amor Artis Brewing last spring revealed the town did not have local rules in place to regulate food trucks. Fort Mill Mayor Guynn Savage said at the time the issue was complicated by requirements by the South Carolina Department of Transportation.

Going forward, the town anticipates a smoother path for food truck operators to receive permits, officials said. That would come as good news to venues and their customers as food trucks have grown in popularity in recent years.

” We are very fortunate to be experiencing a revitalization of our downtown area,” Town Manager Davy Broom said.

 “New business, restaurants and events have made our downtown area a regular destination for good food, shopping, and entertainment. Food trucks, once only offering hotdogs and funnel cakes, are providing a host of food options and are becoming increasingly popular in town. As in other communities, we must have guidelines that ensure the safety and regulation of those mobile units are met. 

“This ordinance, which was given first reading approval by town council on Monday, will establish those guidelines and set up a clear process by which vendors can submit to the town for approval.”

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