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Council members discuss banning food trucks from downtown

The debate to bring food trucks to Pensacola continued tonight at the city's planning board meeting.
Staff discussed Councilman Andy Terhaar's proposed ordinance that would keep food trucks away from Palafox to south of Cervantes.
The ordinance says food trucks have to operate 500 feet away from any brick and mortar restaurant, unless they have written permission from that business.

Many food truck supporters say the restrictions are too much, but as Channel Three's Jenise Fernandez reports, one council member wants food trucks in her district.

There are 600 food establishments on Palafox and many of these restaurant owners don't want food trucks here.
But one council member says, there's plenty of room for food trucks in her district.

At Tuesday evening's planning board meeting, staff discussed the current proposal.
In it was a list of restrictions that many businesses downtown agree with. Restaurant owners worry these food trucks will take customers away from their business, make parking difficult, and hurt the overall aesthetic of downtown.

But for council member, Sherri Myers, she welcomes food trucks in her district.

"Food trucks would fit in very well in this district and i would like them here."

District 2 is very much a commercial district.
Here on 9th and Creighton, Myers believes this is an example of where food trucks can park and sell food.
She says, she believes they can help bring foot traffic to neglected areas.

"This area would be a great location for food trucks i think it would revitalize some of these struggling little mini malls."
   
Food truck supporters worry the city is making decisions without including them in the conversation.
Co-founder of the Food Truck Coalition of Pensacola, Melissa Temsook likes Myers's idea to host food trucks uptown instead of downtown.
But is still worried about the restrictions the city is considering.

"I love the support Sherri Myers has given us but i think as the regulations are written right now, even in her area they can get shut down by any restaurant that moves 100 feet of them."

Staff will discuss this issue further. No decision was made at tonight's meeting.
reporting from Downtown Pensacola, Jenise Fernandez, Channel Three News.