• We're a fun, friendly, and diverse group of planners, placemakers, students, and other folks who found their people here. Create your FREE Cyburbia ID, and join us today! Use your email address, or register through your Reddit, Facebook, Google, Twitter, or Microsoft account.

Uses Beauty trucks, shoe trucks, and other non-food vendor trucks

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
17,438
Points
54
You probably know about food trucks, and food truck courts. I've been reading about a growing number of truck-based vending businesses, offering goods and services other than the usual vegan sushi or organic tamales. A lot are related to fashion and grooming -- shoe trucks, makeup trucks, salon trucks, and apparel trucks.

truk 2.jpg


truck 4.jpg

truck1.jpg


They're not route-based vendors that make brief stops, like traditional ice cream trucks and tool trucks, but rather operate on the same semi-mobile "park at a site, sell for a few hours, and then move somewhere else" model as food trucks.

All of the semi-mobile truck-based business regulations I've seen out there, whether they're in zoning or a municipal code, are for food trucks. I haven't seen any of the other fill-in-the-blank trucks around here. Have you ever dealt with "glam trucks" or other non-food trucks? How would you address them?
 

mendelman

Unfrozen Caveman Planner
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
12,446
Points
39
Codes dealing/mentioning only 'food' trucks is likely a product of simply the accidental or purposeful myopia of those (us) designing/writing the ordinances/regulations.

This phenomenon also includes mobile pet grooming.

If I had to deal with this I would step back and deal with it as a category of mobile business and deal with the external land use impacts (parking - private land versus public land, health codes and zoning districts, etc) then just make it applicable to any type of mobile business.

Kind of like how many current zoning codes switched from "churches" to "places of assembly".

I haven't had to deal with them in a substantive manner yet, but do get calls/inquiries periodically. I just tell them we don't permit them on the public ROWs or public owned/leased parking lots, but we also have many private owned parking lots with great visibility and we'd simply review/permit them the same as if the business was going into a permanent building/tenant space on the site. This would be really easy, but I get the impression operators of the mobile business want to operate as cheaply as possible. Renting 1-2 parking spaces may be too 'expensive' for them, I guess.

Lastly, I can certainly admire the almost infinite ingenuity of the human mind.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Dan

Dan

Dear Leader
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
17,438
Points
54
Thanks for replying!

Codes dealing/mentioning only 'food' trucks is likely a product of simply the accidental or purposeful myopia of those (us) designing/writing the ordinances/regulations.
Mobile pet grooming seems a bit different. I see it more as a service to an individual customer at a pre-arranged time -- kind of like cable installation, lawn service, handymen/women, etc. I don't think a pet groomer parks in a spot and waits for customers, in the same way as food trucks.

A bit of background: right now, the municipality I work for bans all truck-based businesses. (The municipal code is a holdover from the 1950s, not counting some amendments dealing with environmental issues.) I'm writing an FBC that will apply to new development in some designated parts of the municipality. A few people on the code working group thought it might be a good idea to have some provisions for food trucks. I added a new use category,"semi-mobile uses", with two general uses -- "food truck" (defined to include trailers) and "food truck court". There will probably be an amendment to the municipal code for operational details (licensing, safety, etc), while the FBC deals with time and location.

Ultimately, we want to see neighborhoods anchored by traditional building-lined Main Streets -- which food trucks complement – rather than collections of truck vendors selling whatever in a flea-market setting. I also see other issues:

* Food truck regs usually restrict parking within certain distance from a restaurant. Would an on-street shoe truck be prohibited near a shoe or apparel store? Would a makeover truck be prohibited near a salon?

* On-street truck saturation. There's not enough food trucks in the area to grab all the on-street parking spaces on a neighborhood "Main Street". If we add beauty trucks, shoe trucks, record trucks, and other mobile boutiques to the mix, they could hog all the on-street parking spaces, and block too brick-and-mortal storefronts. If there's a "boutique truck park", we'd have to really limit their number, so we don't end up creating an outdoor bazaar instead of a mixed-use Main Street.

* The proposed FBC defines a single story storefront building type. A narrow SSS building can be a low-cost location for very small retail or service-oriented businesses. If we allow boutique trucks, it could make smaller SSS buildings redundant, at least as a way to enable incremental development
 

Maister

Chairman of the bored
Staff member
Moderator
Messages
26,733
Points
55
If you think about it the idea of itinerant vendors is quite ancient. Before motorized vehicles took over, pushcarts and animal drawn wagons dominated this niche. What's changed is the means of locomotion.

Dan said:
Food truck regs usually restrict parking within certain distance from a restaurant. Would an on-street shoe truck be prohibited near a shoe or apparel store? Would a makeover truck be prohibited near a salon?
Would obviously depend on the community, but if the apparent reason for such food truck distance regs is to protect brick and mortar restaurants from folks that are not paying for infrastructure, property taxes (directly), or much of the overhead costs and upkeep associated with building operation and maintenance, then it would stand to reason the same rationale would apply to general retail as well.
 
Top Bottom