More food trucks could soon roll down Myrtle Beach streets.
While six trucks currently have permits to cook and serve food, owners are asking officials to raise that number to 20.
“Getting 20 trucks approved doesn’t mean you’re going to see 20 trucks every day at the same time in the city, let alone in the same spot,” Drew Basilicato, operator of the Trojan Cow food truck, said during Tuesday’s planning commission meeting.
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Last year, 20 permits were recommended by planning commission, but that number quickly fell to 12 after Myrtle Beach City Council felt 20 permits were too many.
Finally, last September, a pilot program was approved by council, allowing six food trucks in city limits.
But rather than operating solely in city limits, Basilicato said food truck owners park in Carolina Forest, Conway, Horry County or work private events, taking them out of the city for long periods of time.
Basilicato said he spends more than half of his time catering private events.
“To me, that’s a reason of increasing the number from six, because of what’s happening,” said commissioner Sally Howard. “We’re now losing the presence of food trucks just for the public. … I’m seeing us able to handle more than six food trucks because some of them will come do the same, and I don’t see it being flooded.”
During Tuesday’s planning commission, members also talked about allowing trucks to park 400 feet from a brick-and-mortar restaurant rather than 500 feet. Basilicato said he is sometimes issued a permit for events within the 500 feet if restaurants agree to it.
“I wouldn’t put my truck that serves burgers and fries in front of, like, BurgerFi or Art Burger,” Basilicato said. “It’s just bad practice, and that’s not going to help anybody out.”
Commissioners also want to clarify the difference between a food truck and food cart, and figure out the relationship food trucks have with local schools.
Planning commission will make a decision on the number of food trucks allowed within city limits during the Nov. 20 meeting. After it is approved, it will go before city council for two readings.