I’ve been in City related meetings all day and now am trying to catch up at work so I haven’t posted here. City Staff has already reached out to the developer and trying to work with him to salvage his project, just not in the initial site selected.
The food truck trend will not continue into Keller — at least not yet.
A 4-3 vote by the City Council on Tuesday denied a request for the city’s first food truck park, which was proposed for Old Town Keller, 110 W. Bates St.
Council discussions included concerns such as too many variances in the proposal, not enough tax revenue and too much competition with other Old Town businesses that have spent considerably more money to open the business than developers of the food truck park will spend.
“Maybe it’s a good fit somewhere else,” Councilman Bill Dodge said. “I’m concerned about those other businesses that are relatively new.”
The Planning and Zoning Commission voted in favor of the park 4-1 on June 11.
Cary Moon, owner of Keller Tavern,128 S. Main St., spoke in opposition.
“I’m all for more restaurants in Keller and for more competition. But I’m against the food truck park for numerous reasons,” Moon said. “We put $637,000 in our project. They are complaining over lights and granite.”
Moon said he would be in favor of the park away from other businesses in Old Town.
Councilman Ray Brown agreed the concept would be great in another location.
“I think we are slapping our existing Old Town restaurants in the face, we’ve required them to do everything by the book,” he said.
Councilman Doug Miller went through the list of variances — which included lighting, trash bin placement, entertainment, parking, signage and asphalt materials — and with the exception of one, said the council approved the exact items for other businesses.
“We’re not asking any more or any less of [the developer] than any other businesses,” he said. “We have accepted everyone of those variances in other Old Town businesses.”
Councilman John Hoffmann agreed that the council has been inconsistent with other decisions regarding variances.
“It bugs me that we are consistently inconsistent,” Hoffman said.
Alison Benton, economic development consultant, said the park would be a magnet, a destination place that would attract people as the parks in Fort Worth do.
She talked about parks in other cities such as Austin where people wait in lines for an hour or more for lunch.
Fort Worth already has two food truck parks with more on the way.
Fort Worth Food Park, at 2509 Weisenberger St. behind Montgomery Plaza, opened in December and hosts trucks selling a variety of items such as pizzas and Cajun food. Cowtown Chow Down opened in May at 1100 N. Main St., between downtown and the Stockyards.