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Bastrop crafting permanent food truck ordinance

The city of Bastrop has begun crafting a permanent food truck ordinance modeled after its six-month pilot program, with the goal of encouraging culinary entrepreneurship in the city.

Anyone driving into town via Texas 95 or Texas 71 may notice several food trucks dotting the highway shoulders or frontage roads. But mobile eateries are scant within the city limits, though with few exceptions: Yoli’s Tacos & More along Chestnut Street and Shug’s BBQ along Texas 71 are two of the few mobile food vendors who were grandfathered into the city’s former set of laws that prohibited this style of entrepreneurship.

The intent of the pilot program and the incoming ordinance is to offer entrepreneurs a lower barrier of entry to owning a business while growing food options in the city. Food truck owners that find success in Bastrop, city leaders say, may be encouraged to establish a brick-and-mortar restaurant in town.

Such is the ambition of Mario DeLeon, co-owner of Yoli’s Tacos & More.

“We are entrepreneurs, and we are waiting for a standalone brick-and-mortar,” DeLeon said. “We do want to make that step. We want to be the next success story from Bastrop.”

“We love what we do, and we love feeding people,” he said.

As proposed, the ordinance would expand what was offered by the pilot program by creating three different permit categories.

The first permit is intended for vendors who require permanent connections to city utilities. The city would require these trucks to submit a site plan that meets standards similar to those for brick-and-mortar restaurants. Restrooms, seating, parking, appropriate zoning and annual permit fees would be required for all food trucks operating under this permit. This would be ideal for a food truck park or food court, officials said.

“It offers an opportunity for an incubator space,” said Acting City Manager Trey Job. “You could have several restaurants that start here, and if they’re successful maybe they can get a brick-and-mortar building.”

For the full article, visit Statesman.com