Winter Springs entertains more food truck events for church

The Winter Springs City Commission Monday discussed possibly flexing its food truck permitting to allow more frequent food truck events after the question was raised by a local church.

The Foundry Church had held an open-air market event featuring food trucks in September and city staff had discussed with them the possibility of additional events, but a food truck ordinance that restricts the frequency of food truck events could stand in the way.

The discussion came after the City of Oviedo recently approved a land-use change that opened the door for a food truck-centered bar business to be allowed in the city’s historic downtown. Now À La Cart, an Orlando food truck park and bar, is moving through the permitting process in the city.

Winter Springs residents may be familiar with food trucks at special events in the city, but they’re only allowed once quarterly and for certain business uses.

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Commissioner Kevin Cannon said an assistant pastor at the church raised the concern that if a church held multiple events that happen to fall in the same quarter, especially late in the year, the city’s current food truck ordinance, enacted in 2020, might prevent that.

“My concern is that when we adopted our food truck ordinance…I don’t think it was ever intended to interfere with a church handling these types of events that we’re talking about,” Cannon said.

Development director Christopher Schmidt said that many events held by churches don’t typically have food trucks, so it may not be a problem.

Mayor Kevin McCann said he wanted to protect restaurants by not allowing frequent food truck events in the city.

“As much as we want to support the church we have to remember that there does need to be some limitations,” McCann said. “We don’t want food trucks there every weekend or we’re right back to the problems we had before. As a restaurant guy, food trucks do harm to brick and mortar restaurants that are paying rent, paying taxes, employing our students and our residents.”

“Don’t misunderstand,” he added. “I’m not at all against them having regular food trucks in that parking lot…but just keep in mind I’m not saying ‘carte blanche.’”

Schmidt said he would be reaching out to the church to discuss options to possibly have more food truck flexibility in the future.

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