Food trucks along Main Street might be in Buda’s future after the Historic Preservation Commission (HPC) conditionally approved an application for a food park permit from a local business owner.
The permit was given the green light Feb. 16 where the agenda item first appeared to HPC members.
According to city documents, the site design was submitted by Greg Henry, owner of Willie’s Joint in Buda, for the food park. It includes a four-truck serving area surrounding several picnic tables at Main Street and Elm Street.
Henry included in his application his intention of using decomposed granite for ground cover in the picnic area and asphalt for paving a small parking area adjacent to the area with an attached restroom facility.
According to documents, “a low, permeable fence will wrap around the picnic space.”
The agenda report said that staff recommended to commission members to approve Henry’s application as adding a food park to Buda would “promote walking downtown, and, because it would be the only use downtown that would be outside of a building, it will add visual interest.”
City Planner Meredith Johnson added that a food park in Buda would also promote entrepreneurship “as most food trucks are owned by individuals rather than corporations.”
According to a response from Buda Public Information Officer David Marino, the HPC approved Henry’s application with “additional stipulations.”
“They (HPC) asked that a rock band (border) be included at the bottom of the restrooms building to cover the crawl space,” Marino said.
According to Marino, HPC members also deferred the lighting and restroom door review to Chance Sparks, who is the city’s assistant city manager, director of planning and HPC officer, before they sign off on the proposed food court’s final approval.
Henry included a personal letter to commission members along with his application.
“This would add to the local flare that Buda TX thrives on,” said Henry in the letter. “I vision a very rustic style food court to fit the City of Buda’s magical vibe. I think we hit the nail on the head with the rustic look of Willie’s Joint as the first locally owned and operated restaurant on Main Street.” (sic)
Henry stipulated in his letter that while Buda has a lot to offer, it may not be the place to dine for local residents who he claims go to Kyle, San Marcos, New Braunfels and Austin to dine due to a lack of options.
“Our local dining options at this time are slim,” Henry said in the letter. “The proposed food court in Downtown Buda on 400 N. Main Street would be comprised of 3-4 food trucks that would bring a variety of flavors and options to downtown Buda.”
According to Marino the proposed food court agenda item does not have to go to city council or P&Z as the HPC has final approval for the development to move forward.
“The applicant can now apply for site development permits and building permits,” Marino said.