A mobile food vendor court received approval to allow the operation of seven different food trucks on the property at 1005 West Highway 290 in Dripping Springs. The decision was a victory for mobile food vendors in a city which has historically not been easy with its regulations regarding the food trucks.
At the June 12 Dripping Springs City Council meeting, council unanimously approved the addition of two more food trucks for the food court after months of deliberation.
The property, which is owned by Bill Warren who operates Pig Pen BBQ on the same lot, was previously only allowed to contain up to three vendors, placing a financial burden on Warren.
New revisions were added to the city’s code or ordinance in April, to allow mobile food courts. The ordinance calls for a conditional use permit (CUP) for mobile food vendors who operate in a location for more than 10 days.
“The process has been challenging at best,” Warren said in a previous interview with the News-Dispatch. “I’m doing this all out of my own pocket with minimal debt to my name and it’s been difficult to get a business started in the city.”
The property’s location posed a challenge for the business. Warren originally wanted nine food vendors on the property, but with less than an acre in which to operate, the city had concerns with the proposal.
“We were looking at parking and safety and we made sure emergency vehicles could enter and exit the property as needed,” said Anjali Naini, city planner for the city of Dripping Springs. “Part of our revisions to the code include a requirement of three parking spaces for each food trailer.”
Warren was proactive with the city, adding more parking spaces than the city required, playing a hand in staff’s recommendation for approval.
Because a CUP is required for mobile food vendors, the city can request changes as needed, Naini said. The previous code did not have legislative rules regulating mobile food courts, which limited the city’s authority and regulatory process.
Despite the long journey to get to this point, the new ordinance changes and Warren’s persistence marked a victory for mobile food vendors. With the ability to operate up to seven vendors, Warren could bring in additional businesses, which is financially beneficial for Warren, while giving Dripping Springs residents new dining options.
Naini said the site development plan met all the city’s requirements and this development will make mobile food vendors’ operation in the city clear and easy to regulate.
“I want as many trucks as the city will allow me to have that comply with the ordinances,” Warren said. “The goal is to provide an environment where people can come and hang out, eat and support small businesses and I want the city to see that too.”