New downtown Elk River addition: Food trucks

23 May 2018

One at a time on King Avenue and as much as the market will bear on private property is where Elk River Council lands

Food trucks will be allowed in one space on King Avenue in downtown Elk River and in the private parking lots nearby.

After months of discussion over where the trucks should be allowed and dialogue with members of the community, the Elk River City Council voted 4-1 to change the city’s ordinances to allow the trucks.

City Council members decided to strike language regulating the trucks on private property and kept the city’s designated spot for one truck at a time on King Avenue.

Food truck vendors are now allowed in public rights of way in districts that have retail sales or with special uses approved by the council. They are allowed in commercial and industrial lots with permission from the lot owner.

In downtown, they are only allowed to operate in the city’s designated spot or in the five privately owned parking lots within the downtown zoning district. Reservations won’t be allowed on the King Avenue spot on Thursday concert nights unless they’re authorized by the city. The move also puts a three-month limit on the use of the downtown spaces. Vendors are required to pay the city a $100 fee if they want a city permit. Permits will be given out on a first-come, first-served basis.

Mayor John Dietz said having one food truck downtown — but no more than one — during the city’s Thursday concerts would allow patrons to get a bite to eat when downtown restaurants are typically full. He also wanted a three-month limit on the permits to discourage a “monopoly.”

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