Food trucks will now be able to operate without a zoning permit in Whiteville, but only under very specific circumstances.
The city council Tuesday approved a new ordinance that allows food trucks and mobile vendors at special events, on public property or in conjunction with a taproom or brewery. Food trucks will now be allowed at festivals, parks and recreation events, school fundraisers and emergencies.
The ordinance came about after city officials cracked down on a food truck that was operating in the downtown area. Owners of traditional restaurants complained to the city council that food trucks had an unfair advantage, especially in the wake of severe flooding from hurricanes Matthew and Florence.
The city shut down the two food trucks operating in Whiteville in January, but promised to take up the popular portable eateries after the planning board studied a possible ordinance. The onset of the pandemic then delayed that decision until this week.
Food trucks will be required to have and display a certificate of sanitation from the health department, according to the new ordinance. Trucks operated by taprooms and breweries would be limited to operating from 5 p.m. to midnight.