Food trucks Downtown: What are the viewpoints?
The Gourmet Aviator food truck was in business Wednesday in the parking lot at Forsyth and Main streets. The location is regulated by the City’s “Food Truck Area Program.”
Groups are lining up in support of and opposition to food trucks, the trend that's become a part of Downtown dining.

The mobile cuisine vendors offer additional menu options and convenience for urban workers and residents and have been a rapidly growing trend in Jacksonville and across the country.

Yet, for some people, the vendors pose a threat to established businesses in the competition for market share.

Without highlighting specific arguments for or against the concept and being cognizant that there eventually might be legislation introduced concerning the matter, here's a look at where the City, Downtown Vision Inc. and JAX Chamber stand on the issue.

The City

In July, the City Office of Public Parking implemented a single-site "Food Truck Area Program" that allows a food truck to rent two spaces in the City's parking lot at Forsyth and Main streets.

A food truck is limited to a one-day reservation in any one week for $13 plus sales tax per day. That is the cost to rent two parking spaces for a day, according to the ordinance code.

The food truck operator is required to have a valid Local Business Tax receipt and a Transient Merchant Permit issued by the Tax Collector, which requires a valid food-service license from the Florida Division of Hotels and Restaurants.

The operator must carry workers' compensation insurance as defined by Florida statutes as well as $1 million in commercial general liability insurance and $1 million in automobile liability insurance.

Before a food truck can set up shop in the parking spaces, the operator is required to provide certificates of insurance approved by the City Risk Management Office.

No alcohol may be served under any circumstances by a food truck. The lot and adjacent sidewalk area must be completely clear of all trash and litter before the food truck leaves the parking spaces.

Downtown Vision Inc.

Downtown Vision Inc. is the nonprofit organization charged with marketing and advocating for Downtown. It is funded by an additional ad valorem tax levy on Downtown property owners.

The organization's board of directors in March voted to support a position statement limiting the presence of food trucks in the urban core. Allowing the mobile transient vendors to offer services weekdays during lunch would take away business from permanent vendors, DVI Executive Director Terry Lorince said at the time.

After the vote, DVI published a position statement proposing that food trucks could complement Downtown's nightlife scene by "operating in the entertainment district and near existing bars" from 11 p.m.-3 a.m.

DVI also suggested establishing a monthly food truck festival event "held Downtown during the week at lunchtime."

JAX Chamber

JAX Chamber Director of Downtown Engagement Tony Allegretti said food trucks add vibrancy to the neighborhood and offer options for patrons. He said food trucks are located in "gaps" between traditional brick-and-mortar food vendors.

"The Downtown landscape is pretty well regulated. Food trucks are not on every corner," said Allegretti.

Allegretti said more than 100 restaurateurs are members of JAX Chamber, including seven food-truck businesses. He expects the number of Downtown food vendors in both categories to increase over time.

"There is some really conducive pricing for ground-level retail. It's not as trendy, but there is opportunity," he said. "The chamber supports entrepreneurs and business growth. Hopefully, everyone can win."


(904) 356-2466


Thursday, Feb. 21
Lecture: "A Tour of Time"
7 p.m.
Museum of Contemporary Art
Info: mocajacksonville.org

Friday, Feb. 22
$5 Friday
10 a.m.-8 p.m.
Museum of Science & History
Info: themosh.org

Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra: "Classical Fusion"
11 a.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Times-Union Center
Info: jaxsymphony.org

Junior League of Jacksonville's "Whale of a Sale" Preview Party
6 p.m.
Fairgrounds & Expo Center
Info: jljacksonville.org

Junior League of Jacksonville's "Whale of a Sale" Preview Party
6 p.m.
Fairgrounds & Expo Center
Info: jljacksonville.org

Corey Smith in Concert
7 p.m.
Mavericks at the Landing

The Great Guitar Gathering
7:30 p.m.
The Florida Theatre
Info: floridatheatre.com

'60s Folk Reunion Festival
8 p.m.
Times-Union Center
Info: jaxevents.com

Saturday, Feb. 23
Junior League of Jacksonville's Whale
of a Sale
8 a.m.-2 p.m.
Fairgrounds & Expo Center
Info: jljacksonville.org

Best Buddies Friendship Walk
10 a.m.
The Landing
Info: jacksonvillelanding.com

Film Series: "Roots and Wings"
1 p.m.
Museum of Science & History
Info: themosh.org

Benefit and Documentary Screening: Girls Rock Jax
5 p.m.-12 a.m.
Info: girlsrockjacksonville.org

Weekly Poll
Question for the week of: Monday 01/16 - Sunday 01/22
How do you believe President-elect Donald Trump will perform his duties?
What's your opinion on the issues? The Daily Record will have a question each week and it's your chance to make yourself heard.

Poll Results
Monday 01/09 - Sunday 01/15
How would you rate President Barack Obama’s performance in his eight years in office?
The results through Internet voting:
Excellent - 20%
Good - 10%
Fair - 8%
Poor - 62%
Last Week
3 Months
Published for 27,107 consecutive weekdays
Bailey Publishing and Communications, Inc. Bailey Printing & Imaging Realty Builder Connection
Covering events in the Realty and Building communities in Northeast Florida.
10 North Newnan Street · Jacksonville, FL 32202 · (904) 356-2466 · Fax (904) 353-2628
© 2017 Bailey Publishing & Communications, Inc. All Right Reserved.

Privacy Policy · Refund Policy