At its 6:30 p.m. meeting Tuesday, Whiteville City Council could vote to loosen restrictions for food trucks and other mobile vendors throughout the city.
Currently, food trucks can only operate on public property during special events.
But, if the text amendment passes, as many as 25 mobile vendors (including food trucks) could operate on private property throughout the city, with consent of the property owner.
According to the drafted change, food trucks could operate in Central Business (B-1) and Retail/Office Complex (B-4) zoning districts on Thursday, Friday and Saturday from 3 p.m. to 10 p.m. and on Sunday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
For Highway Serving Business (B-3) and Office and Institutional (O&I) zoning districts, mobile vendors could operate on Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
A mobile vendor would not be allowed to operate at a site for more than six consecutive hours at a time, however.
Other rules for mobile vendors include: during restaurants' operating hours, vendors must generally be at least 100 feet away from their customer entrances; vendors must provide a trash receptacle within three feet of the vehicle; and vendors cannot operate as a drive-in window, they can only do business with pedestrians.
The public will have an opportunity to express their thoughts on the change prior to council taking a vote on the measure.
Flood mitigation plan
Council will also hear an update from N.C. State University’s Coastal Dynamics Design Lab about its recommended strategies to mitigate flooding in Whiteville.
Since January, when the city officially partnered with the team of hydrologists, the team has hosted several public input sessions and conducted a survey of downtown buildings to assess the city’s flood prevention needs.
Researcher Travis Klondike will update council about its final schematic plan, which currently includes the restoration of 5,100 linear feet of the Mollies Branch canal, roadway modifications to the surrounding area and an expanded area of constructed wetlands within the Central Middle School recreational complex. Additionally, steps to de-pave impermeable surfaces and raise the interior elevation of buildings throughout parts of the business district are also a part of the plan.
Council will also consider applying for several grants at its Tuesday meeting.
To assist in financing the restoration of the Mollies Branch canal, council will consider applying for $249,880 in grant funding from the Golden LEAF Foundation.
Council will also seek funding to begin implementing its master plan for the former Lewis Smith Shopping Center, prepared in consultation with Raleigh-based engineering firm WithersRavenel. The city adopted the plan in May.
To fund the project, council will consider approving a contract with WithersRavenel to apply for $4,000,000 in grant funding from the North Carolina Land and Water Fund. Council will also consider applying for $950,000 from Rural Downtown Transformation Grant from the NC Department of Commerce. Although the city was denied this grant after it applied in April, the council was invited to apply again by the November deadline.
Vineland Depot, rezoning and congrats
Also at the meeting, city council will:
Hear a request from Rebekah Benton, representing the Whiteville Junior Women's Club, for council to review and adjust rental fees for the use of Vineland Depot for an upcoming event to be held at the venue by the club.
Consider a request from Jessie Pierce Jr. to rezone a property of approximately 0.2 acres owned by Luvenia Hemmingway at 413 S. JK Powell Blvd. from a Residential district (R-6) to a Highway Serving Business district (B-3).
Hear a request from Steve Smith of the Southeastern Oratorio Society, asking council to congratulate the choral group on its 50th anniversary.