Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Leland to consider introducing food truck regulations, public feedback welcomed

Leland Planning Board considered new food truck regulations that would introduce a set of operating standards inside town limits.

The Town of Leland is considering a new set of food truck codes that would regulate how and where the mobile businesses could operate in town limits. (Port City Daily/File photo)
The Town of Leland is considering a new set of food truck codes that would regulate how and where the mobile businesses could operate in town limits. (Port City Daily/File photo)

LELAND — Leland’s Planning Department has come up with a set of proposed food truck regulations that would introduce new operating standards in town limits.

Currently, the town’s code does not specifically regulate food trucks.

Related: With EMS transferred to Brunswick County, proposed Leland tax increase dropped for 2019-2020

The proposed code would create allowances for standalone trucks and set an annual permit fee of $50 to operate. Compared to Surf City’s $500 fee created in December 2018, and New Hanover County’s $250 plan review fee, Leland’s proposed annual operating permit offers an affordable option for food truck startups.

According to Helen Bunch, Brunswick County zoning administrator, additional operating fees do not apply outside the county’s planning jurisdiction (in New Hanover County, fees apply throughout the county, including in towns and cities like Wilmington, which charges and an additional $25 annual food truck fee).

Proposed standards

Food trucks could operate on private property in the town’s General Urban, General Urban Open, Urban Center, and Special District (four zoning districts that can be found along the Village Road Gateway District). Also, trucks could conduct business in the town’s three commercial, office and institutional, planned unit development, and multi-family zoning districts.

The trucks would not be permitted to conduct business within 75 feet of an existing restaurant during its operating hours unless permission granting closer proximity is documented. If a truck is shorter than 5 feet, the minimum distance is reduced to 25 feet.

For truck owners that work out of a commissary kitchen in town limits, the associated food truck must be parked in the rear of the restaurant or kitchen while it’s not open for business.

Just one truck per parcel on private property would be allowed. However, if the truck is operating under a temporary use for a government-sponsored, religious, entertainment, or recreational event, the one-truck-per-parcel requirement would be waived.

Ben Andrea, Leland’s planning director, said food trucks stopping by for a one-time event would have permit fees waived under the proposed code.

“There is an exclusion in the draft language to alleviate food trucks from having to get a zoning permit if the food truck is operating at a temporary event such as the Leland Food Truck Rodeo,” Andrea wrote in an email Friday. Andrea said the proposed language is all new and subject to change based on input received by the town’s Planning Board or public feedback.

Leland Planning Board reviewed the proposed changes Tuesday at its regular meeting. “We welcome any feedback or questions, and the public will have a formal opportunity to provide input at the public hearing at Town Council tentatively scheduled for the Council’s July 18 meeting,” Andrea said.

View Leland Planning Department’s proposed food truck code.

Send tips and comments to Johanna Ferebee at

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