Amherst officials satisfied with food-truck regulations adopted in April
AMHERST — Regulations overseeing the licensing of food trucks and lunch carts that were adopted six months ago appear to be working well.
“My opinion is this is working for the town as is right now,” said Select Board Chairwoman Stephanie O’Keeffe.
The board Monday held a public hearing on the revised food-cart regulations that were adopted in April. The town has three licenses for on-street food trucks and one for an on-sidewalk food cart.
O’Keeffe said she worked with the Amherst Area Chamber of Commerce and the Amherst Business Improvement District in developing these new rules, which specify the locations for such enterprises, the hours they can operate and the noise they can generate.
No license holders attended the public hearing, but the board received a comment from Mohammed Dioury, who operates Sloppy Dogs food truck, that there is insufficient foot traffic in the on-street locations where food trucks are permitted, primarily near public parks and green spaces.
O’Keeffe said the idea was to direct the food trucks to areas where foot traffic could be generated, such as near Kendrick and Sweetser parks and the Town Common.
Dioury advocates for locations along North Pleasant Street closer to the downtown bars, but O’Keeffe said those had been excluded because of the likely greater impact on permanent businesses.
“I’m personally not inclined to expand the areas we allow them in at this point because it’s not consistent with the idea of how we put these forward,” O’Keeffe said.
Select Board member Aaron Hayden said he believes the regulations have been successful.
Sarah la Cour, interim operations director for the Business Improvement District, said there have been few concerns from restaurant owners since the rules were adopted. Food trucks, she said, should be something that enhance downtown and do not compete with restaurants.
“The BID would like to continue to work with you on this topic and fine-tune as we go forward,” la Cour said.
Town Manager John Musante said his office has received no complaints from the public or business owners over any food trucks or lunch carts in the past six months.