Despite limited participation in last summer’s pilot effort, beachfront food carts and trucks may be returning to White Rock.
Council was to consider the idea Monday evening – after Peace Arch News’ press deadline.
In a report, the city’s acting director of planning and development services recommends a two-pronged program that would allow up to three food carts on designated pads located between the white rock and just west of the museum, and up to four food trucks in the Bay Street parking lot.
Unlike the pilot program, both opportunities would be open to any Lower Mainland vendor, Richard Wilson notes.
For the carts, the city would provide concrete pads and electrical connections; for the trucks, electricity would be provided.
The idea to pilot food carts last year stemmed from a suggestion heard during a 2012 community forum on the waterfront. Its success – or lack of – was to help guide decisions on whether it would return for an encore this year.
Wilson estimates the capital cost of providing electricity for the trucks at $10,000, and the parking revenue lost at $12,420. The cost of pads and power connections for the carts is estimated at $11,600.
Wilson noted participation of Marine Drive merchants was limited last year – of 12 that applied for food-cart licences, only two used actual food carts and only one of those was out on a regular basis.
“Based on last year’s limited participation, (city staff) conclude there is limited business viability (for food carts) outside of the pier/museum and the iconic white rock area west of the pier,” Wilson writes.
He adds if food trucks are permitted in a parking lot, pedestrian and vehicle interaction concerns would have to be addressed.