Washington city staff will look into codes regulating food trucks following two recent requests for the businesses.

Monday night, a request to operate a roadside stand outside a Washington business was approved, but a hearing for a second location was tabled by the city council.

Following a public hearing, the council approved a special use permit for Jacob Kandlbinder to run a food truck on the lot of Zephyr Express at 6791 Highway 100 near Bluff Road.

Sal Maniaci, community and economic development director, asked that council table a public hearing for the request for a stand at 216 W. Front St., on a city street in front of Otis Campbell’s, and a secondary option to operate the stand on a public parking lot adjacent to the business.

Kandlbinder’s “concession trailer” is approximately 7 feet by 16 feet. Maniaci said he spoke with Kandlbinder before requesting the hearing be tabled.

On August 13, the Washington Planning and Zoning Commission instructed Maniaci to “modernize” codes for food trucks to operate in the city. That would include exploring how other communities regulate the mobile businesses.

Now, there are no specific codes for a food truck, and the most closely related regulation is for roadside stands.

“They way we do it now with roadside stands is not necessarily sustainable,” Maniaci stated. “A roadside stand is not necessarily the same definition as a food truck.”

Roadside stands typically are operated on private property, he added.

“In any other city, food trucks are typically on a city street,” Maniaci explained. “There has got to be some stipulations to that.”

He noted a proposal will be presented to the planning board in September following research,

Commission Concerns

Planning commission members stated concerns about the Front Street request ranging from allowing a business to operate on city property, the use of public parking spots and the impact on the homes and businesses in Downtown Washington.

Kandlbinder explained he would work in conjunction with Otis Campbell’s which does not have a kitchen. Rick Marquart, an owner of the business, along with Marquart’s Landing, sent a letter to the city in support of the permit.

Kandlbinder said his truck would operate after the Landing kitchen closes. There would be menus inside Otis Campbell’s helping to promote his business.

Under the Front Street request, the concession trailer would operate from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. every day but Sunday. The application also states that all equipment will be moved from the site nightly.

Commission member Carolyn Witt said the location of the second option is where Amtrak parking is designated.

Witt also stated Downtown has many food providers, along with residences.

Tony Gokenbach, commission member, said a food truck located on Front Street could cause problems for emergency vehicles.

Gokenbach further stated there would be sight issues in the second option, and problems with entering and exiting the parking lot.