St. Joe commission reads first Food Truck Ordinance amendment

Port St. Joe city commissioners held the first reading of the first proposed amendment to their food truck ordinance at a special meeting held July 1.

They voted unanimously in favor of the ordinance amendment at their June 21 meeting, but mistakenly did not hold the reading at that time.

The amendment aims to close a loophole that could be used to allow food trucks to operate on Reid Avenue, which city officials have been opposed to since discussions surrounding the ordinance began last November.

“It came to our attention that there was a little bit of a loophole left open that would allow someone to put a food truck on Reid Avenue, and that was something that we weren’t comfortable with” said City Attorney Clinton McCahill on June 21. “So I went ahead and put together an amendment that physically prohibits food trucks from being on Reid Avenue specifically.”

Port St. Joe’s food truck ordinance was passed on April 5 with a unanimous city vote, excluding Commissioner Scott Hoffman, who did not vote because his brother owned a food truck at the time. Hoffman did vote on June 21, explaining his brother was no longer in the business.

The ordinance implements certain regulations on the mobile food dispensing businesses within city limits, including the areas of town in which they can operate.

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 at that meeting. “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.”

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