Upping the ante for Food Trucks in South Florida

Posted at May 23, 2011 by Comments Off

FoodTrucksHaulover Upping the ante for Food Trucks in South Florida

South Florida’s food-truck frenzy is a testament to the area’s entrepreneurial spirit.

As far back as 2009, many in South Florida began to catch-on to a national trend and an intelligent business proposition—food trucks were an answer for burgeoning restaurateurs who did not have the start-up capital to risk on a brick-and-mortar business. They took advantage of the ambiguity surrounding regulatory structure and offered affordable eating options, in the midst of a recessionary economic environment.

Urban planners embraced food truck’s ability inject new energy into land-use politics and revive blighted communities. While foodies reveled in the options—a budding network of innovative street vendors. Yet, all was not good in food truck universe. Issues began to arise.

Complaints about the food truck movement included: scrutiny from residents concerned on how rallies were  affecting their neighborhoods; concerns from business owners who said food trucks threatened their livelihood and posed an unfair advantage (lower operating costs and lack of regulation); and incidences of health code violations among certain food trucks.

From this I gathered what I believed should be our food truck creed:

  1. Thou shall be mindful of where you station yourself.
  2. Thou shall adhere to health inspections.

This week the Miami New Times reported:

Commissioners passed a new food truck ordinance by a vote of 7-1. It will affect about half the truck gatherings, including those in Kendall, Cutler Bay, and other parts of the county. Roundups in North Miami and Miami — including Wynwood — will be unaffected because they are governed by those cities’ laws.

The most important restriction: 80 percent of residents within 1,000 feet of a roundup must sign off on an event before it can be held.

County zoning and planning director Marc LaFerrier explained that four or more trucks make a roundup, permitting will take five to seven days, and permits will cost $750 per recurring event — not per week. In other words, weekly events such as Truckers Out West will pay only once annually as long as no site plan revisions are made. (Read more)

And though I understand the need for rules, I do not understand the need for hurdles.

In our next post, the Quirky Flamingo will be tackling what’s next. How do South Floridian’s evolve the concept of food trucks to benefit our service offerings to visitors and residents alike, and continue to empower their owners to want to contribute to creating a sense of place?

For more information on the local food truck scene, we also encourage you to check out the Miami Food Truck blog.

If you would like to contribute your knowledge or opinions to our up-coming post e-mail us at quirkyflamingo@gmail.com.


 Upping the ante for Food Trucks in South Florida

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