Conway opens up for food trucks

Patrons order food from a food truck.
Patrons order food from a food truck. Jason Lee

Food trucks are now allowed on private property in Conway.

Only two types of vending are allowed in Conway. Transient vending allows for food trucks to be parked in certain zones and construction sites for 30 minutes or less, while franchise vending allows trucks with a franchise agreement to park on public property in the riverfront district, core commercial districts and central business districts.

But an ordinance passed Monday night will allow those franchise trucks to set up shop on private property as well, such as parking lots.

"Before, it was only legal with a franchise agreement on public property," Emrick said. "That really limited the ability for food trucks to operate. What was passed tonight was allow them to be on private property but a certain distance away from brick and mortar restaurants."

The proposed rules would allow licensed vendors to set up on private property as long as they have a lease agreement and a site plan that provides two parking spaces per vending unit. They would also be prohibited from operating within 150 feet of an existing restaurant.

According to the ordinance, parcels between 10,000 and 20,000 square feet may hold up to three food trucks. Bigger parcels could hold up to four.

Emrick said they've heard some concerns from restaurant owners who were concerned about food trucks parked in front of their stores. But none showed up for a council workshop discussion on the issue in early February.

"We sent a letter to every restaurant in the city and no one showed up for the public meeting," Emrick said.

In the first year, the city plans to issue six permits good through June 30, 2019.

Christian Boschult, 843-626-0218, @TSN_Christian