Tyler approves ordinances

During their regularly scheduled meeting, the Tyler City Council voted to approve two ordinances relating to mobile food vendors (food trucks). The approved changes establish food truck parks as a primary use of a property and allow food trucks to operate on private property as transient vendors.

The City Council also approved changes that establish a one-year Mobile Food Unit Street Vending pilot program on certain streets within the Midtown District; the Texas College District; the University Woods District; the Downtown, Business, Arts and Culture zoning district (DBAC); adjacent to City parks and at active construction sites.

“City staff have received many inquiries from citizens regarding the ability to allow food trucks and food truck parks, prompting staff to review relevant codes and rules,” said City Planning Director Heather Nick. “Tyler is also home to more than 18,000 college students who are likely to support creative entertainment options such as food truck parks and related activities.”

The proposals came from the recommendations of the Food Truck Subcommittee. On June 25, 2013 the Unified Development Code Review Committee formed a Food Truck Subcommittee tasked with researching food trucks and food truck parks and proposing any desired amendments for consideration. The subcommittee researched trends and best practices and even travelled to Fort Worth to meet with city officials to discuss what their experiences were with food trucks and to visit local food truck parks.

“The amendments are likely to provide more diversity in food and entertainment options around the city,” said Senior Planner Kyle Kingma. “We looked at best practices throughout Texas and the rest of the country and have incorporated these elements. However, we also made sure that some elements are still unique to Tyler.”

The changes will become effective on Dec. 12, 2014, at which time interested mobile food vendors will be able to apply for the necessary permits.