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This amendment could allow food trucks in Myrtle Beach

The first Myrtle Beach Food Truck Festival was held at the site of the old Pavilion on Saturday, April 1, 2017. Over two dozen food stands were set up on the site and thousands of visitors came to eat, play games and listen to live bands.
The first Myrtle Beach Food Truck Festival was held at the site of the old Pavilion on Saturday, April 1, 2017. Over two dozen food stands were set up on the site and thousands of visitors came to eat, play games and listen to live bands. jlee@thesunnews.com

Food trucks in Myrtle Beach could soon be a reality.

A proposed amendment to the Myrtle Beach Planning Commission suggests a change to the current city zoning code that would allow food trucks conditional use in certain districts, meaning that the businesses would have more flexibility to gather in potentially zoned areas with a corral-type placement.

An exact idea of what the corral-type placement would look like was not discussed in the meeting.

While members on the Planning Commission did not agree on whether or not to pass the amendment, they did decide that trucks would still not be allowed in right-of-way streets, street ends or on beach accesses, due to the fact that they do not continue to move but rather stay in one spot while they cook and sell food.

Members did say that having food trucks gather for an event, such as the first Myrtle Beach Food Truck Festival that took place in early April, is an acceptable exception to allowing trucks onto public property.

“We have no problem letting them in the right-of-way if it is for a public event,” board members said during the meeting.

“We had one of our busiest days ever that day, so bring it on,” Becky Billingsley, media manager for the Bondfire Restaurant Group, said during the meeting.

The commission plans on following the Horry County model, which allows food trucks in parking lots such as Dick’s Pawn Shop and other privately owned properties.

“[We will] look at it from a private property standpoint, which is an improvement over what they have now,” members said.

Due to previous public comments on food trucks in Myrtle Beach, members of the commission gave the public a chance to discuss the topic during the meeting.

“We are all for food trucks,” Billingsley said. “The more the merrier. We don’t see them as competition.”

The Bondfire Restaurant Group owns four brick-and-mortar restaurants throughout Myrtle Beach including Art Burger Sushi Bar, The Chemist, Noisy Oyster and Gordo’s Tacos & Tequila.

“It’s the 21st century,” Billingsley said. “Every big city has food trucks.”

Billingsley argued that with all of the violence that has occurred in downtown Myrtle Beach people needed a reason to come back to the Myrtle Beach oceanfront. By incorporating food trucks into the area, Billingsley believes that more foot traffic will return to the area.

Billingsley stated that the Bondfire Restaurant Group would also like to one day own a food truck, which would incorporate food from each of their restaurant.

Drew Basilicato, owner of The Trojan Cow Food Truck, appeared in front of Myrtle Beach City Council in late June, arguing that food trucks should be allowed in Myrtle Beach, stating that they would complement restaurants rather than compete with them, The Sun News reported.

“When they had the food truck festival they brought us a lot of business and we were delighted,” Billingsley said.

“After all the challenges we’ve been facing, we need business,” she said. “And food trucks will bring them.”

Megan Tomasic: 843-626-0343, @MeganTomasic

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