In a 5-2 vote, the Waxahachie Planning and Zoning Commission recommended denial of a proposed food truck park at its Tuesday night meeting. Commission members cited parking, security, and traffic concern in its reasons for denial.
The recommendation will be forwarded onto the Waxahachie City Council for consideration at its Monday night meeting.
Jim Phillips, a commission member, stated the developer has a great concept, but the property size can’t accommodate the proposed use. The property is located in the 1500 block of Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.
“It was denied primarily due to the issue of safe parking,” Phillips said. “On the property, he has four spots for food trucks plus seven parking spots for customers and one is ADA compliant. His overflow parking is across the street at a church.”
Philips explained that MLK Boulevard is a major thoroughfare into the city and at times can have a significant amount of traffic on it. By having people cross the street, it creates a danger to both pedestrians and motorists. He added MLK Boulevard is a road under the jurisdiction of the Texas Department of Transportation and to add a crosswalk would require the state's approval.
Philips stated other concerns voiced by the commission-included accessibility to the site and security measures for the location during non-business hours.
According to documents submitted to the city, the Eastside Food Park would provide a variety of foods such as seafood, barbeque, pasta, chicken, and sandwiches. The management would form relationships with specialty food truck vendors as well as with organizations and businesses in the community.
Verlin Taylor, the developer, stated he plans not to withdraw the item and will present the project to the city council for its consideration on Monday.
“It came across to me it was more of a personal denial than anything else because I was compliant,” Taylor said. “Everything they had requested me to do on those plans I made all of the changes, the updates, and the modifications. I had looked at the traffic counts in that area and made those modifications.”
Taylor stated if the project gets declined at the council level then he is okay with that decision. He added some of the improvements he addressed including adding a dumpster with a masonry enclosure, shrubbery, a masonry wall, expand the driveway, additional trees, and a parking spot for a delivery van.
Taylor shared the area around the food truck park is growing and will provide an excellent resource for residents.
The Waxahachie City Council meeting takes place at 7 p.m. Monday in the council chambers at Waxahachie City Hall. City hall is located at 401 S. Rogers Street in downtown Waxahachie.