Richmond city council is looking for strategies to create better synergies between food trucks and local businesses.
A motion passed at council this week calls for city staff to look into the food truck activity in Steveston, with an emphasis on displaced business from local restaurants and the potential for an area specifically for food trucks.
Coun. Bill McNulty said, at last week’s general purposes meeting, the main concern, according to Steveston proprietors, is that while food trucks are in compliance with council policies and bylaws, the space the food trucks occupy tends to be parking lots of existing businesses.
The motion was supported by council, including Mayor Malcolm Brodie who said the issue also included the money involved with renting private properties.
“The merchants who are located in Steveston pay top dollar for the rental of their premises,” Brodie said.
“They pay taxes and support the community in many different ways. […] The argument is whether it’s fair that the mobile food trucks should be able to go in like that, with no contribution to anything, very low overhead and pick off some of the best business opportunities for the restaurant merchants.”
The key is to study the successes of cities other than Richmond, said Coun. Carol Day.
She said Portland’s food truck alley capitalizes on office building spaces that are not utilized during the evening and cites Horseshoe Way as a good candidate for Richmond’s own designated food truck space.
Some of the food trucks that have visited Steveston in the past month include seafood specific Lobster Shack and Shameless Buns, which specializes in Filipino street food.
The City of Richmond is asking for feedback on food trucks in Steveston. Go to letstalkrichmond.ca to fill out a survey.