The Cashiers Planning Council spent a couple months hashing out exactly how to regulate the trucks while still allowing them freedom to operate. The ordinance makes food trucks a special-event-only feature in the central part of town and a regularly permitted use in the remaining portion of the 2-square-mile Cashiers planning area.
“What they wanted to develop was an appropriate time, place and operation that we could provide for food trucks to be in that area, but that people would provide parking that they wouldn’t interrupt the flow of traffic,” said Jackson County Planning Director Michael Poston during the county planning board’s May meeting.
What the council arrived at was an ordinance that allows food trucks to be permitted in the Village Center area during temporary events but grants ongoing use permits in the rest of the area — with restrictions. Food trucks and carts can’t have permanent fixtures or signage that are detached from the vehicle, and they can’t be on the permitted property at nighttime — or any other time they’re not actually operating. In addition, they must operate on a minimum lot size of 0.4 acres with at least four parking stalls, with additional area needed for additional trucks on the same property.
Three public hearings were held on the ordinance before it went into effect — one before the Cashiers Planning Council, a second before the Jackson County Planning Board and a third before the Jackson County Commissioners. The only verbal comment received during the hearings came from Cashiers resident Allan Dyleski during the first hearing in Cashiers.
“I think that it’s good that we have entrepreneurs that want to make a living, and it adds aesthetics to the Village Green and the Village Commons, but we certainly don’t want our local restaurants who are here 12 months a year struggling to make a living,” Dyleski said. “Have you heard from the restaurants?”
“We have,” replied Chairman Rich Robson, “and the feedback hasn’t been as negative as you would expect.”