MOVEABLE FEASTS MOVING THIS WAY
Due to highly-restrictive laws regarding zoning, late-night snacking from food trucks has been a dream long deferred in Boulder. But change may be on the way.
The City Council approved an ordinance on May 20 that increases the number of food trucks allowed to park on private property in commercial zones from two to four. And while the number of food trucks can now double, they are still not allowed to operate past 9 p.m.
“This business was started with the intention of serving the late night crowd, specifically,” says A.J. Julian, owner of the barbeque food truck, Top of the Hill Grill West. “They are a large group of consuming public. It doesn’t put us at odds with brick and mortar restaurants. They’ve all closed, their cooks gone home.”
Julian says clustering with other food trucks in commercial zones other than the downtown area doesn’t do anything for his business, nor does parking by city-approved parks. He finds better business in Broomfield.
Last year, Boulder had a pilot program that provided late-night food truck service in the Central Park parking lot located near Mustard’s Last Stand. According to Julian, the bad location, lighting and the fact that Mustard’s stayed open late as well, did not make for good business.
This year, Boulder will continue the same program, but provide better lighting and a possible earlier start time. Other potential locations are yet to be presented.
“The city manager said over the next couple months we’ll be looking at various options, so we don’t have anything yet,” says Molly Winter, director of The Downtown and University Hill Management Division and Parking Services. “We’re looking at other opportunities that could possibly work. We just have to go through an analysis.”
The Parks and Recreation Board, along with the Downtown Management Division, is in favor of integrating food trucks with special events and continuing food truck service in specific parks.
Noise, trash and restaurant competition, along with resistance from Downtown Boulder Inc., have stalled the idea of late night food truck service.
“We are excited about food trucks to add to the diversity and food options in the city and are looking forward to see how we could expand upon those while keeping in mind the concerns of the brick and mortar restaurants downtown,” says Councilwoman Suzanne Jones.
CLIMATE CHANGE TAKES A BITE OUT OF YOUR DINNER
Climate change could reduce global food growth by two percent each decade for the rest of this century, according to the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.
Their report, Advancing Global Food Security in the Face of a Changing Climate, says higher temperatures, changes in rainfall and natural disasters caused by climate change will undermine food supplies and production.
The report calls on the U.S. government to pass legislation for a long-term global food and nutrition security strategy to increase funding for agricultural research in regards to climate change effects; increase funding for partnerships with U.S. universities and universities/research centers of low-income countries to train next-gen agricultural leaders; and urge that food security be addressed at the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change.
Climate change and food security expert Gerald C. Nelson authored the report with support from The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and PepsiCo. A bipartisan group of scientists, business and policy leaders led by former U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman and president emeritus of The Asia Foundation, Doug Bereuter, endorsed the recommendations.
For more information on the report, visit www.thechicagocouncil.org.