ST. CLOUD, Fla. — The City of St. Cloud passed stricter guidelines Thursday when it comes to food trucks setting up shop in town.
Before it was passed, though, several of the most contentious conditions were struck from the ordinance.
What You Need To Know
- St. Cloud was considering stricter rules on food trucks
- The City Council was considering limits on where food trucks can serve
- Before passage Thursday, several conditions were removed from the ordinance
Originally, the St. Cloud ordinance would have only allowed food trucks in certain areas. It also would add about a dozen conditions for them to be able to operate, including:
- Only allow food trucks on 1-acre properties
- Bar them 500 feet from another restaurant
- Requiring owners to obtain a permit for one year and then require them to wait two years before applying for another permit
Before Thursday's vote, all three of those conditions were removed from the ordinance, city officials said.
Laiza Abreu and Jason Gerardino, who began operating the Ruta Taina food truck that specializes in Puerto Rican dishes in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, said they were worried about city officials moving to regulate where food trucks can serve.
Food trucks were previously not allowed in the City of St. Cloud, but in October, state law prohibited cities from banning food trucks. After that, many of the food trucks set up on U.S. 192.
State law does allow the city to regulate food trucks.
Vinny Barber, the owner of Jimmy Bear's BBQ, started his business as a food truck about a decade ago. He is now a well-established restaurant owner who would rather see food trucks in a designated spot in town.
“The food trucks folks think that the small businesses and small restaurants are worried about competition. This isn't about competition at all … This is about what is right and what is wrong,” Barber said. “We shouldn’t have to compete with someone who can pull in and pull out every day. Meanwhile, we’re paying thousands of dollars in property taxes and rent.”
Abreu and her husband said they don’t want to leave the City of St. Cloud because this is where they live.
“It’s very hard on us,” Abreu said. “We just gotta find a new spot very far from our house. We own a house here in St. Cloud. Our community is here.”
According to information from the city, council member Linette Matheny said the newest ordinance is just a starting place for the city.
In the future, she said there may be opportunities to establish a food truck park in the city.