By Nancy Bowman

Although food trucks have been visible in Tipp City during special events, they haven’t been permitted in the city as a stand-alone use.

That could change with regulations for food trucks being considered by the Tipp City Planning Board.

Matt Spring, city planner/zoning administrator, met in a work session with the planning board members Feb. 12 to obtain their input on possible regulations. Today, the city codes do not address food trucks at all. They have been allowed, though, as part of special events such as the Mum Festival.

The next step will be crafting of a draft ordinance and scheduling a public hearing at the March planning board meeting. The board meets monthly on the second Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at the Government Center.

“It is a popular thing, particularly in bigger cities. Why not invite it if we can,” Spring said.

Topics for discussion would include defining a food truck and public and private property uses.

Suggested areas for standards were:
- Proximity to existing restaurants
- Number on a lot
- Setback from property lines
- Size of food truck
- Hours of operation

Permits would include a city permit as well as one from Miami County Public Health, which conducts inspections.

The food trucks likely would be excluded from residential areas.

They would be attractive in locations such as Kyle Park, near the aquatic center and the downtown, said board member Jamie DeSantis. “I think it is a good thing for the community,” she said of the food trucks. “A lot of them have a following.”

Board member Vonda Alberson said some thought should be given to the impact of food trucks at events where parents organizations have sold concessions.

Board member Jeff Sebor said the food truck volume likely would be self-regulated by the number of customers available, with special events likely the big draw.

Board Chairman Andrew Thornbury suggested letting the Downtown Tipp City organization know the food trucks regulations are being considered, and get it input.

Spring said he had contacted that organization as well as the chamber of commerce about the exploration of regulations.