City May Make It Easier For Food Trucks To Operate In Chattanooga

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

The City Council is considering action that would make it easier for food trucks to operate in Chattanooga. 

City Attorney Wade Hinton said cities like Austin and Portland have thriving food truck operations and Chattanooga is studying those models. He said, "It's truly an industry there."

He said a 2013 food truck ordinance was limited and did not allow food trucks on city streets - only on private property.

The proposed new ordinance, that may be ready for review in a couple of weeks, allows them on city streets in designated areas.

One possible site is Miller Park and another is Glass Street in East Chattanooga.

Attorney Hinton said the city's Department of Transportation staff is helping draw up food truck zones.

Council members raised several possible concerns, including whether there would need to be a reservation system for popular zones and how enforcement of the operations would be handled.

Councilman Chip Henderson said he does not want to harm brick and mortar restaurant operations. Blythe Bailey, CDOT administrator, said one concept is that they help form a "food oasis" and lure more customers to both food trucks and restaurants.

There would be input from restaurants and other neighbors on the zones, it was stated.

Alcoholic beverage sales are excluded from food trucks.

The food trucks would still be allowed on private property.

Food truck operators would need a city business license as well as a food truck permit. They would also need to be inspected and approved by health officials.


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