On Tuesday, June 11, the San Marcos Planning and Zoning Commission approved a conditional use permit for a Food Truck Court at 801 Chestnut Street.
TheCoKitchen is proposing the addition of seven food trucks and a commissary kitchen on the property.
According to the agenda, the property was previously used as a religious education facility by the Church of Latter Day Saints. The existing building will be used as the commissary kitchen for the trucks located on the site.
Staff recommended the approval of the CUP with the following conditions.
- Hours of operation shall be limited to 7 a.m. – 11 p.m. Sunday -Thursday and 7 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday;
- A 42 inch fence with a tight wire mesh shall be required around the edge of the property adjoining the creek to prevent liter from entering Sessom Creek;
- There shall be no speakers after 10 p.m.;
- There shall be no live amplified music;
- The permit shall be valid at the time of Certificate of Occupancy of the commissary kitchen; and
- The permit shall be posted in the same area and manner as the Certificate of Occupancy.
Diane Wassenich, executive director of the San Marcos River Foundation, spoke during the public comments.
Wassenich named several items for commissioners to consider regarding the protection of Sessom Creek, which borders the back of the property.
“We need to make sure that anybody that has a business there, either a truck or the commissary, follows all the rules about industrial pre-treatment, grease traps,” Wassenich said, “If they’re going to drain anything into the plumbing around there.”
Wassenich said the plumbing in the area is not connected to the storm drain that feeds in to Sessom Creek, but it could still overflow.
During the public hearing, only one person spoke against the project citing concerns about the vehicle and pedestrian traffic on Chestnut.
The primary concern cited was where delivery trucks to cisco and the commissary kitchen would park without blocking traffic on the two-lane road.
Will Parish said there was a steep drop off behind the property to Sessom Creek; staff was therefore proposing a 42-inch fence with a tight wire mesh to collect any liter from the property.
“They are offering to do regular cleaning and maintenance of the adjacent creek property,” Parish said.
Commissioners approved the item by a 6-0 vote with Commissioners Mike Dillion, Matthew Haverland and Kate McCarty absent.
However, the following amendments were made to the CUP by commissioners.
- 72-in 1-by-1 mesh fence that starts at the ground
- Fence should be at the parking lot level
- Animal Proof trash bins
- Will service only the trucks on site and bakers within the commissary kitchen.
- Cannot use speakers to amplify music after 10 PM
- Require One Year Review from date they get certificate of occupancy.
According to Jeff Caldwell, Director of Neighborhood Enhancement Director, while the commissary kitchen will provide bathrooms to the vendors, the Food Trucks will be required to provide public restrooms for customers by city code.
Elizabeth McGhee, the applicant, said the commissary kitchen is designed to provide services and help small, new businesses get started.
“The reason we want to do this is—is working in health and in this line of work for as long as I have,” McGhee said, “This is the concept that should be utilized on any food trailer park. And it should not be excused otherwise. Commissary should be on site; it keeps things cleaner. It keeps food safer.”
McGhee said the commissary kitchen will provide limited prep for the food trucks, but it will provide cold and dry storage for the trucks.
“We are an incubator business; we are trying to help people launch their business,” McGhee said. “We really can only work with three or four at a time. As they launch and they leave, we may have three or four other folks, some of them college students, some of them folks that need a location, and they are not able to find places to a commercial kitchen. And they aren’t able to find the resources for people to help them launch their business.”