NEDERLAND, Texas — Members of the Nederland City Council voted unanimously to not update the city's current food truck regulations.
The vote took place during a city council meeting on Monday, December 5, 2022.
A public hearing was held Monday, October 24, 2022 at Nederland City Hall to discuss how and where food trucks can operate around the city.
Current regulations only allow food trucks to set up at businesses for special events, which is upsetting for some food truck owners.
The City of Nederland defines a special event as, "an event organized and permitted by the business establishment for temporary promotion and advertisement for the benefit of the business establishment, whether for profit or non-profit or for a city-sponsored event or city-authorized event, in which, the setup is completely on the establishment’s private property."
A temporary permit may be obtained for each special event and an applicant may receive a temporary permit no more than 12 times and no more than once a month during a calendar year.
The temporary permit is valid for three consecutive days. Rain-outs or other weather-related issues do not extend the three-day permit period.
Keith Bass is the owner of The Dude's Foods food truck and also requested the public hearing in October be held. He in a Facebook post that George Wheeler approved the ordinance update during the zoning meeting and passed it back to the city council.
Austin Talmadge made the motion to deny and Randy Sonnier seconded it, according to the post.
Bass said this request can be revisited in the summer of 2023. Food truck owners say city regulations make it too hard to get a time and place to set up.
Some restaurant owners, on the other hand, think food trucks threaten their bottom line when times are already tough. Restaurant owners argue they have more expenses, employ more people, and pay more taxes.
"Food cost is horrible right now. It's hard to make anything to stay in business, much less with competition from people who aren't paying what I pay, doing what I do," Remi Bryan, the owner of La Suprema Restaurant in Nederland, previously told 12News.
Food truck owners say they are limited on when and where they can set up. They have to follow specific city ordinances and most can't afford their brick-and-mortar establishments.
"A business has to invite you. It's for no longer than three days on a temporary permit, once a month. So basically, 12 times a year. That's it," Bass previously told 12News.
Kenny Mings owns both a restaurant and a food truck, but he supports restaurants, which he says is a sure way to support local businesses.
"Once you open it, and people realize, 'Hey I can go in anytime I want to,' it's going to bring in more food trucks, and it's going to take away from the community," Mings said.