Dripping Springs city leaders pave way for new food trucks

A trio of conditional use permits (CUP) allowing for mobile food vendors to operate beyond what’s specified in current ordinance got the green light by Dripping Springs city leaders.

One of those three permits allowed LeMuse Coffee Bar, operated by resident Juan Chan, to open on a parcel of land along Highway 290, ending a months-long saga involving his application with the city. 

In addition, city leaders gave the go-ahead for the operation of food trailers at Hudson’s on Mercer in downtown Dripping Springs, along with a trailer at Deep Eddy Vodka.

Council acted on all three items after tabling them during the May 9 meeting, in order to allow city staff to refine the CUPs.

According to the Dripping Springs code of ordinances, a CUP is required for any mobile food vendor that intends to operate for more than 10 days in the same location.

The permit for LeMuse will allow the truck to operate on a parcel of land in the 1000 block of U.S. Highway 290. Chan originally presented his application to the Planning and Zoning Commission in March, in which he sought to place five food trailers at the location, along with the addition of a drive-thru for LeMuse.

However, concerns over traffic safety at the location from city staff caused P&Z to deny his request in March. Chan reapplied and sought to only have his trailer open on the land, minus any food truck or any other food trucks on the site.

According to staff, the truck would abide by current light and sign ordinances, and would have to pass inspection by the Emergency Service District 6 for space allowance for emergency vehicles.

P&Z approved the amended request 5-0, and no one objected to the food truck, even after city officials posted a public notice to property owners within 300 feet. A site plan will be presented at a later date.

Council member Bill Foulds, however, was concerned about the concept plan, which had the possibility of four food trucks on the site. City staff said the plan only calls for LeMuse to operate on the site.

“I don’t want this to be turned around later because it’s got a concept plan for four (food trucks) and we knew there could be four,” Foulds said.

Council member Wade King apologized to Chan for the delay after realizing he had been closed for three months.

“If there was any heartburn, I would like to apologize,” King said. 

Council also approved a CUP for Red’s Food Truck, which is to operate at Deep Eddy Vodka, on the premise that any possible problems about a large steel tank and erosion are rectified by July.

According to city staff, a CUP was requested by the owners of Red’s to operate for more days than the ordinance allows. A CUP was also necessary as Deep Eddy is not in a zoning overlay that allows for mobile food vendors.

Roger Mikeska, a nearby resident, said previous concerns about loud music were rectified, but he was wary about the tank on the property.

To combat the issue, Dripping Springs city officials called for issuing a potential weekly fine if the issues aren’t addressed. Dripping Springs Mayor Todd Purcell said the property owners could have faced a fine for the tank, which was not originally platted on the site plan.

“We can’t forsake the neighbors,” Purcell said. “They could have been fined for that (tank) until now, but I think it’s a good compromise. “

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