CAPE CORAL, Fla. — On Wednesday, the Cape Coral city council is expected to set a public hearing for October in regard to a potential ordinance that would allow food truck parks and require certain changes for stationary food trucks.
During a Committee of a Whole meeting back on September 14, council members and Cape Coral Mayor John Gunter agreed the ordinance should move forward.
“There is a majority consensus to move this forward,” said Mayor Gunter.
During the cape's regular city council meeting on Wednesday, food truck owners like Marshall Barnhart, who owns Dudley's Beach Side BBQ, won't get a chance to voice their opinions until a public hearing in October.
So, I asked Barnhart how he felt about a food truck park coming to Cape Coral.
“If it's marketed well, and clean and facilitated well it will attract a better audience,” said Barnhart.
Barnhart says a better audience doesn't always mean better profits.
Barnhart said that food truck parks charge businesses to use their locations regardless of whether bad weather pushes customers away.
“Then we take that loss, and those losses tend to drive us away from those,” said Barnhart.
The other part of the ordinance says mobile food trucks would need to stay mobile, leaving a job site at night and removing any gear.
The ordinance says seating areas, tented or not, would not be allowed.
“Good for neighborhoods, they don't have to see the same truck there every day,” said Barnhart.
Cape Coral Mayor John Gunter along with city council members agreed that a daily fine would be enforced for vendors who don't comply.
“I heard one or two people mention having a daily penalty if they don't comply,” said Gunter at the COW meeting back on September 14.
On Wednesday, Barnhart said these are rules and regulations that he thinks the city and businesses can work together on.
“I think at the end of the day, hey, we all have to get along we all want good food, it will work,” said Barnhart.
At the time of this article, the Cape Coral City Council expected to set the first public hearing for October 12.