Council expected to vote on food truck request

Published 1:02 pm Sunday, November 6, 2016

An Austin family could get the green light to bring a food truck to Austin on Monday night.

The Austin City Council is slated to vote on a request allow food trucks in the parking lots by Brick Furniture and the Austin Municipal Pool during its 5:30 p.m. meeting Monday in City Hall, 500 Fourth Ave. NE.

The council unanimously approved the request at a work session last month.

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The vote came after Mario Chavez and his daughter, Sara, approached the city to see if they’d be permitted to open a food truck.

Food truck or wagon owners can also house them on private property with no issue.

Sara and Mario are hoping to bring a food truck to Austin that would serve Mexican food — burritos, tacos and tortas with pork, beef and chicken and fresh ingredients. They had plannned to charge about $5 for a burrito or $5 for three tacos.

“We would provide good quality food at an affordable price,” Sara told the council last month. “We want people to have an authentic Mexican meal that won’ t break the budget.”

Sarah told the council they were thinking about being open for lunch and early dinner.

The Chavez family owned a restaurant business in Mexico for about 20 years before moving to the U.S.

After food trucks have garnered much interest in cities like Rochester after new ordinances passed, City Clerk Ann Kasel cautioned this isn’ t a new ordinance, it’ s more an adjustment to test the waters.

“We’ re kind thinking we’d allow it in certain municipal lots to see how it goes and to see if this is something that more trucks are interested in before we over regulate it,” Kasel said last month.

From past experience, Planning and Zoning Administrator Holly Wallace said the city’ s learned that issues can arise when the food trucks are near existing businesses, so they picked areas — the Austin Municipal Pool lot and the lot just north of Brick Furniture — that are a little away from businesses.

Kasel noted statutes limit the amount of days food trucks can stay in one spot, but Sarah said they’ d like to move to a few different spots — potentially some on private property — to be in compliance with the state.

Cladio Gormaz, Sara’ s uncle and Mario’ s brother-in-law, said the family isn’ t sure yet when they’ ll open their truck in Austin, as council approval was their first step.