Community and culture building, post-pandemic economic recovery, possible innovations – these are just some of the reasons why the District of North Vancouver is now looking into making it easier for food trucks to set up shop within its bounds.
Council voted Monday night (April 25) to direct staff to look into what policies and regulations need to be changed within the district to enable more food trucks, noting that although the district doesn’t currently outlaw the trucks, the systems and processes available to would-be vendors to operate is prohibitive.
Tabled by Coun. Jordan Back, the motion noted that food trucks are not currently allowed on public land within the district “unless the operator receives a park use permit, special event permit, license to occupy or highway use permit. There is no specific policy to support the issuance of these permits for food trucks on public land, nor are rates set for the permit or license required.”
“So what's being proposed here in the report is to look at ways that we can possibly relax some of our regulatory requirements around food trucks to allow them in more areas of our community,” Back said Monday.
“One of the biggest benefits of the food truck scene is the way they build communities and draw people out, and I think as we come out of the pandemic, we need to look for these sorts of opportunities,” he said, adding that he recognizes there are some concerns about the impact to more traditional brick-and-mortar food service businesses.
Coun. Megan Curren said as she has family in Portland, Ore., she has had quite a bit of experience visiting food trucks, as the city has a very vibrant food truck scene.
“I know we're not Portland, but it doesn't mean that we can't learn some of the lessons that they've learned over the years,” she said. “There's some really cool stuff happening around reusable, shared containers among different food trucks, and so I think we can overtime be really creative, to also make them as environmentally sustainable as possible.”
Coun. Lisa Muri said staff need to report back to council on what the process currently is, and why “is it so onerous,” adding that as trucks are currently technically allowed, the district needs to find the root cause.
“The district, we’re very prescriptive, and I think we really need to take a look at that. Why is it easier for the City of North Vancouver to accommodate food trucks?” she said.
Staff will report back to council in the following months, at a yet to be determined date.