Fort Collins seeking input on rules for food truck rallies

The City of Fort Collins is conducting an online survey on proposed new food truck standards to help clarify existing requirements and provide more opportunity for the outdoor food vending community.

“The growing national trend for food truck operators is to organize the gathering of many trucks (typically ten to twenty trucks or more) in one location on a regular basis, commonly referred to as a rally”, said Jessica Ping-Small, city revenue and project manager. The current City and Land Use Code requirements do not permit food truck rally events on private improved lots with more than eight vendors.

In the past few years, rally events have taken place in public parks, as part of a park permit, with no limit to the number of vendors. The last of a series of summer food truck rallies was held in City Park on October 5.

“We typically see about 12 vendors participate on average with these local rallies,” said Ping-Small.

Food truck vendors have expressed interest in finding an appropriate location on private property that will accommodate rallies on a regular basis of more than eight vendors. Similar to other cities, food truck vendors claim the benefits of rallies by providing more food choices for patrons and unique dining experience as a community attribute. The national food truck industry has grown from $324 million in revenue in 2000 to a projected $804 million in 2014, according to IBISWorld Industry Research.

In 2012, city council adopted new outdoor vendor regulations based on a comprehensive study completed by staff. Since the inception of the new regulations, staff has been monitoring the activity and working with the outdoor food vending community to address opportunities for improvement to the code.

The City of Fort Collins is currently proposing to update the existing Land Use Code and Municipal Code Standards for a food truck rally to operate in one location as part of an outdoor vendor licensed event (Non-Residential Zoning Districts) with certain conditions.

To take the online survey, visit http://www.fcgov.com/salestax/outdoorvendors.php. The survey will be available from October 27 through November 7. For more information on the survey or proposed food truck rally changes, contact Jessica Ping-Small in the City Finance Office at 970-221-6626, or jping-small@fcgov.com.

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