Allowing Town HOAs to use food trucks recommended by FMPC; goes to BOMA

Does not include individual households being able to secure food trucks

Farragut subdivision homeowners associations soon may be able to “legally” hold events featuring food trucks.

Farragut Municipal Planning Commission voted unanimously during its virtual meeting Thursday, Sept. 17, to recommend the Board of Mayor and Aldermen amend its ordinance so HOA would be allowed to have food trucks.

Farragut Municipal Planning Commissioners and Town staff discussed the possibility during a Staff-Developer meeting in August, and it was workshopped by FMPC in August as well.

“The initial objective of including this item on the agenda was to present the idea of allowing sales from food trucks if (it is) part of an approved special event sponsored or hosted by a homeowners association,” Farragut Community Development director Mark Shipley said. “The existing language only provides for sales from food trucks for commercial, office and not-for-profit entites if part of an approved special event.
However, “during the COVID pandemic, more people are staying home and the thought was that food trucks should be permitted as an option for HOAs, provided a permit and filing fee was secured,” Shipley said. “Food trucks can provide a useful service for certain events.”

During the August Staff-Developer meeting, he noted some HOAs are using food trucks anyway. Having the amendment would make it “legal.”

“This (amendment) would help establish a process and parameters for these activities in residential settings,” Shipley said last Thursday. But, he made clear allowing food trucks is for HOAs, not individual residents.

At the same time, “while addressing this item, the staff felt that other language in this section of the zoning ordinance should be updated to reflect current practices and the recent changes related to signage permitted for temporary events,” Shipley said.

The proposed language for the ordinance reads: “A special event may include a wide range of activities, such as but not limited to a grand opening, sidewalk sale, fundraiser, yard sale, Vacation Bible School, holiday pageant or program, etc.”

Commissioner Betty Dick did, however, express concerns about the food trucks creating a traffic issue.

Shipley said a site plan would be required showing where the HOA’s event would be held to make sure there was adequate space.

Shipley also asked about a 10-day period in the proposed amendment. Shipley said the 10 days related to how long the sign (for the HOA’s event) could be erected. The event would only be for three days.

“I think that needs to be clarified,” Dick said.

On a separate action, the Commission voted unanimously to recommend the Board hand over administration of the grand opening signs to Shop Farragut/Farragut Business Alliance.

Town staff has been supplying the signs for businesses to rent for a fee and then return to the Town, but staff has been wanting to get out of the “sign” business.

“During the discussion (of the signs last week), the staff mentioned that the Farragut Business Alliance had expressed an interest to be involved in administering the grand opening special events permits in some fashion as an avenue to assist new businesses and entities that have chosen to located in the Town,” Shipley said.

“(The signs) would really be under the control of the Business Alliance as opposed to the Town,” he added.

“The signs will be smaller – 20-by-20 feet. There wouldn’t be the big void space (on top) of the current grand opening sign.”

He said the Alliance’s administering the signs also would provide consistency and branding of the Town.

Farragit Vice Mayor/Commissioner Louise Povlin said this would give the FBA an opportunity to explain the sign permitting process to new businesses.

“The responsibility is where it needs to be, with the Farragut Business Alliance,” she said.

“I agree with FBA being the ones that handles (the signs),” Farragut Mayor Ron Williams said. “It will be consistent that way.”