July 13, 2017 4:46 pm

Food truck bylaws up for discussion in Taber

WATCH: Food trucks have become a popular option for people looking to grab a bite, but not for one restaurant owner in Taber. Joe Scarpelli reports.

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A restaurant owner in Taber is pushing for change to the town’s food truck bylaws.

Bruce David, co-owner of Ricardo’s restaurant, says he regularly spots food trucks setting up just outside his business. He believes it’s impacting his bottom line.

“When there’s a food truck out there, I don’t even have to look, I can tell by the people that don’t come,” David said.

He says food trucks have an advantage as they are mobile and have less overhead than a traditional restaurant.

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David has co-owned Ricardo’s since 1999 and has been at his current location in downtown Taber since 2004, where most other food establishments are located in the town.

“I believe in entrepreneurship, but is it fair to park in the same area where you have six or seven restaurants?”

The issue was brought to the attention of the town staff, who responded by gathering resident feedback.

Under current bylaws, food trucks are only permitted in the downtown or commercial areas. The town drafted some new rules, including one that would ban food trucks from parking near Ricardo’s and neighbouring establishments.

Over 280 residents responded to the proposed changes in about a week. Three town employees agreed the survey got more interest than any other survey conducted by the town in recent memory.

“It was kind of split,” said Andrew Malcolm, the director of planning and economic development for the town. “There was people for it, people against it… We’ll probably just have to figure out what the best way to implement that is.”

Christopher Nguyen operates a food truck in Taber. His wife started COM & EAT Mobile Concession & Catering last year. He says the downtown area is a great place to set up shop, but he’s willing to negotiate.

“We don’t have any issues with the zoning,” Nguyen said.

“If they want us to operate is designated areas, as long as it’s within reason, we’re more than happy to do it.”

Currently there are six food trucks operating in Taber.

The town says revised recommendations for food truck bylaws could go before council in the fall and potential changes wouldn’t come into effect until next food truck season.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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