Photo Credit: Joshua L. Jones/file
The University of Georgia Student Senate unanimously passed a resolution last week in favor of easing Athens-Clarke County regulations on food trucks, which is up for a vote tonight.
WHEREAS, the Athens-Clarke County Unified Government under the direction of the Mayor & Commission has studied and gathered input about having food trucks in downtown Athens and has an ordinance prepared for consideration at the November 2 Mayor & Commission meeting; and,
WHEREAS, at their October 6 regular meeting, the Mayor & Commission voted 5-5 with the Mayor breaking the tie to give more time to hear from business owners on the issue of food trucks; and,
WHEREAS, on October 22, the Mayor & Commission heard from downtown restaurant owners about food trucks and were presented with concerns of lost revenue due to the proposed ordinance; and,
WHEREAS, the proposed county ordinance would only allow for approximately ten food trucks to operate along a block of Washington Street, and a block of College A venue, adjacent to the City Hall campus, from 7 a.m. Thursdays until 2:30a.m. Fridays; and,
WHEREAS, when ACC tested food trucks on September 12,2015, many UGA students attended and used the food trucks and remained in the area, also spending money and time at other downtown restaurants and stores they likely would not have otherwise visited; and,
WHEREAS, students of the University of Georgia have voiced their support of food trucks in downtown Athens in order to diversify options available to the community and offer a place for students and the community to gather; and,
WHEREAS, UGA students recognize the concerns of downtown restaurant owners, but further recognize that the addition of food trucks to downtown Athens will create more opportunities to bring students and other community members to the area; and,
WHEREAS, students frequently patron downtown restaurants and stores and will continue to do so, supporting the brick and mortar eateries and shops of the downtown area; and
NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that we, the 28th Student Government Association of the University of Georgia, on behalf of the students at the University of Georgia, urge the Athens-Clarke County Mayor & Commission to pass the food truck ordinance at its November 2, 2015 regular meeting.
Meanwhile, in response to restaurant owners’ concerns about food trucks operating downtown, Athens-Clarke County Commissioners Sharyn Dickerson and Mike Hamby have proposed changing the location where food trucks can park to College Avenue and Hancock Avenue (where they’d be further from restaurants) instead of College Avenue and Washington Street.
Their commission-defined option would also add the Oconee Street park-and-ride lot to the list of places where food trucks can park, require trucks to pay for ACC trash collection rather than dispose of their own trash, and raises the fee from $200 to $671.
The commission will vote on the proposal at its 7 p.m. meeting at City Hall.