Leesburg is one step closer to allowing daily food truck operations within the town limits.
On Thursday night, the town Planning Commission unanimously endorsed a package of Zoning Ordinance changes that will permit food trucks to operate on streets in commercial and industrial areas and even to set up on private property downtown.
The Town Council initiated the changes in May, seeking to allow businesses in office and industrial parks more culinary offerings closer to their doors. Last month, the council voted to expand the allowances to other business districts, largely as part of an effort to allow downtown breweries to continue their practice of bringing in food trucks to serve their clients.
Zoning Administrator Christopher Murphy said he reviewed the regulations adopted by other area jurisdictions and settled on policies that most closely resemble those in Alexandria.
The proposed ordinance would allow “mobile food units” as temporary uses. The category includes food trucks, food trailers and food pushcarts. Operators would be required to obtain annual temporary use permits from the town and could set up between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. only on specific locations on specific streets listing in the ordinance. They may not operate drive-through windows serving passing motorist, may not play music and may not have display signs or balloons promoting their locations. They may not operate longer than four hours in a single location.
While all commissioners voiced support for the idea, Commission Sharon Babbin asked Murphy to consider some additional regulations that would ensure food trucks don’t set up too closely to the town’s brick-and-mortar restaurants, particularly downtown.