Food trucks spark discussion at city council

The Colorado Grille and Taphouse food truck, known as "Betty White"

MONTE VISTA — Thursday, May 7, Monte Vista City Council met through zoom. During the ordinance portion of the meeting they discussed ordinance 903 adding article 9 Chapter 4 for the purpose of creating policy for mobile food vendors. City Clerk Unita Vance shared with the council that there are currently six food trucks that visit Monte Vista on a regular basis. One has a home based business that is located in Monte Vista.

“Currently the food trucks are parking on private property at two of the locations that they have been parking. One we do not know who the owner is and the other is owned by the railroad. The property that belongs to the railroad is the lot across from the Sonic area. The other property is the triangle piece that is located near Alta next to Uniquely Delightful. We thought that it was owned by the railroad but the railroad does not claim it,” said Vance sharing that she had spoken to CDOT and that they are looking into who might own the property. Vance also shared that she had spoken with the county assessor who is also looking into it. “Other spots where they are parking are the lots in front of Charizma and the lot in front of the old Big John Warehouse, and there is one that parks on highway 160 next to Rain Brews when they are open. I contacted CDOT and they told me that they currently have no issues with where any of the trucks are currently parking. I would like for council to discuss this and instruct which direction you would like to take with this ordinance and discuss possible locations where these food trucks would be allowed,” Vance told the council.

There have been a couple of complaints members of the city have received about the mobile food vendors taking business away from brick and mortar restaurants. Councilor Larry Foster who owns a business near where one of the trucks parks, shared that one of  the food trucks in question was only there on Wednesdays and not every Wednesday. He shared that he has not noticed any issues occurring with them being there, “I haven’t seen any issues out here with traffic or people getting in wrecks or anything like that. They both have contacted me before they started parking there which I thought was nice of them to do that even though I don’t control that particular piece. They don’t bother me,” said Councilor Foster.

Councilor Martha Lock shared that especially during these times she felt it was good to have the food trucks coming in to give residents variety since everyone is forced to do carry out currently. “I don’t think we should put anymore stipulations on them as far as where they park. I mean if they’re actually impeding people from getting to another restaurant then yeah that’s a problem,” said Councilor Lock who continued saying, “If they aren’t in the restaurant’s parking lot, or blocking the restaurant’s parking lot, she saw no issue, “That’s just free enterprise. That’s free choice. Now if the department of transportation has a problem with it because it’s right there on the highway that might be a safety issue. But as far as a food truck that comes in once or twice a week, or even comes in everyday, honestly if you have a restaurant there and people want to eat at your restaurant they’re going to drive past the food truck and go eat at your restaurant. If they want what’s on the food truck they’re going to get what’s on the food truck. I don’t see any need to run these businesses off. Or make it harder for them to find a place to be. I think we need to be more welcoming if anything,” said Councilor Lock.

Part of the ordinance says that food trucks must be 100 feet from brick and mortar restaurant establishments. Councilor Lock  pointed out that there are many brick and mortar restaurants that are much closer than 100 feet to each other already. Giving examples such as Nino’s and Quincy, and Baldo’s from the Taqueria. After much more discussion it was moved they would table the issue to be discussed further at their next meeting. In the meanwhile making sure where the trucks are parking is not a driving hazard and trying to find out who owns the one property where food trucks have been parking. Many on the council sharing that they didn’t see many issues with how it was currently being handled. 


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