St. Joe commissioners to workshop food truck ordinance

For several months, Port St. Joe city commissioners have been discussing the possibility of a new Food Truck Ordinance, a piece of local legislation that would allow the city to regulate an increasing number of food trucks that have been coming to the area in recent years, following heightened tourism numbers.

The idea was first mentioned by Mayor Rex Buzzett during the Nov. 2 city meeting, when he raised his concerns about the city’s lack of control over the mobile restaurants. 

“My concern is we could end up having a food truck on every vacant lot in the city of Port St. Joe under a pole barn,” he said. “So, I hope we’ll come to a consensus of allowing them to come in but not making it wide open where any time you want to bring a food truck you can.”

The commission voted to have the city’s attorney, Clinton McCahill, review existing legislation on the matter. 

On Dec. 7, McCahill returned his findings.

“The Florida legislature passed a preemption of the food truck ordinance for local municipalities and local governments, which prohibits us from being able to lisence, permit or have any registration fee for food trucks and prohibit us from banning them in the entirety from the city,” he told the commissioners. “However, we do have a wide array of things that we can do to regulate them.” 

McCahill presented the commissioners with an early draft of the ordinance and  recommending a public workshop be held some time in January. Now, commissioners have had the opportunity to give the attorney their notes, and the workshop has been scheduled in a few weeks’ time.

“We have a workshop on the food truck ordinance on Jan. 18 at 11 a.m.,” McCahill said in the board’s Jan. 4 meeting, reminding the commissioners and the public of the event. “If you have any concerns, suggestions, anything, please contact me, and get that to me in the next couple of weeks so we can be ready to go for this workshop.”

The city’s workshop will be held directly before their Jan. 18 regularly scheduled noon meeting at the commissioners’ chambers, located at 2775 Garrison Avenue.

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