Levelland P&Z Hash Out Food Truck Ordinance Details

The Levelland Planning & Zoning Commission had a special meeting Monday night to work through their food truck ordinance that’s been making the rounds. Originally making it all the way to City Council, the ordinance was bumped back to the P&Z for a bit more fine tuning. The issues of Fire Suppression and businesses operating in residential areas were brought up and proved to be the main issues, though only 3 board members would be present to debate them. Roger Lindsey, Chrystal Simpson, and Chairman Butch Wade were the only members to attend the meeting.

From the beginning the City of Levelland has wanted to ensure that brick and mortar restaurants do not face different codes or ordinances from their food truck counterparts, which is a simple enough task as both are labeled as “Commercial Kitchens” under the Fire Code. This means that should a kitchen produce grease vapors (from a grill, deep fryer, etc) a Fire Suppression System is required to be installed. Commissioner Simpson insisted that Levelland’s Fire Code should not be as stringent as Lubbock’s, and that such laws would drive business out of town. Simpson even went so far as to suggest the City not enforce the fire code for the sake of food trucks, but Chief Building Inspector Joe Shedd combated this by stating that almost 85% of the food trucks the City inspects meet these requirements already, and that caveats couldn’t be written for food trucks with out rewriting all of the Fire Code. Commissioners Wade and Lindsey along with City Manager Brandon Anderson all agreed that City Fire Code needed to stay. Anderson furthered the sentiment by stating it would be unfair for Food Trucks and Brick & Mortar restaurants, again both classified as commercial kitchens, to play by a different set of ordinances.

As for the issue of operation in residential neighborhoods, a few ideas were circulated. If a food truck wished to operate in a location within a residential neighborhood they would first need to obtain written permission from the responsible party of a property (Owner, renter, etc.). Then there would be a set time limit they could be in operation at that spot, and a property could only have 1 such event in a single month. Ultimately the ordinance was handed to the City Attorney for one final pass before it comes to the Board once more, then it will be handed to City Council to begin the process of being accepted.

About Drew Dunn

News Director for KLVT AM 1230 in Levelland. We provide local and regional news updates 5 times a day on KLVT AM 1230 and online at www.klvtradio.com
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