Aldermen OK Hwy. 51 site for food truck court


RIDGELAND — A food truck owner made strides this month with approval to have his trucks park at a site off Highway 51 near I-55.

Carlos Garcia wants to transform the existing structure at 238 Highway 51, formerly Lee’s Deer Processing, into a place where a handful of food trucks can park. 

The site was originally a Bumpers Drive-In.  Garcia said multiple food trucks and cars of patrons can park and they will add covered outdoor seating.

Garcia will likely have to undergo further board approval before opening but was granted a conditional use permit to operate.

Community Development Director Alan Hart said that the project had received both Zoning and Architectural Review Board approval and that he recommended the board give Garcia the go-ahead.

Hart said that Garcia would have two of his own trucks on site. Alderman-at-Large D.I. Smith asked what the process would be for additional trucks to operate on the premises.

Hart said they could rent space to other trucks, though those trucks would need separate city approval. 

Improvements to the site included removing the interior landscaping to build truck parking and a covered seating area. Trees would also be planted along Highway 51.

Aldermen granted unanimous approval for both items pending the removal of an 18 wheeler trailer parked on the premises. Hart said that the matter had already been addressed. That it was the property of the current owner and will be removed before Garcia begins to operate his business on the property.

City officials approved a food truck ordinance in November 2018 stipulating the registration and permit process of individual food trucks looking to operate in the city. Requirements included Architectural Review Board approval and other stipulations. At the time city officials said the process would allow for trucks looking to park individually at events as well as forming parks or commissaries like Garcia envisions.

Vendors have to register a privilege license that lasts 90 days. Initial fillings cost just above $250 and have a limited number of $25 extensions before a new license must be re-obtained. Fees for individual events are $50.

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