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Vendor voices concerns with food truck ordinance
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At the May 5 City of Hinesville council meeting, Assistant City Manager Ryan Arnold once again reviewed the proposed mobile food truck ordinance. The ordinance was first discussed at the April 21 meeting. They met with food vendors on April 18, and the ordinance is currently in the advertising phase and will come up as an action item at their next meeting.

During public participation, Terrence Tyler spoke up, saying he had raised concerns about the proposed requirement that food trucks can’t operate within 200 feet of a brick-and-mortar food establishment.

Tyler said the city has plenty of food establishments that are within 200 feet of each other, and the food truck industry shouldn’t be treated any differently.

“It’s no different than the McDonald’s that is right next to Burger King,” he said, noting that it is an individual’s right to pick where and what they want to eat.

He also said the city should not be allowed to pull his business license if he gets his driver’s license suspended but has a staff member with a valid driver’s license who is able to drive the food truck. Tyler said he has a CDL Class A license in good standing, but he feels the language in that portion of the ordinance is overreaching.

“Your personal life is your personal life,” he said. “If, in your personal life, you have your license suspended, that has nothing to do with you making it to your job.”

He said if he worked at a brick-and-mortar restaurant and had his driver’s license suspended, he wouldn’t automatically lose his job. His food truck is no different, he said, as long as he has someone with his business capable of driving if he can’t.

Mayor and council also reviewed the wrecker service rotation ordinance, which is also in the advertising phase and scheduled to be an action item at their next meeting.

Councilwoman Vicky Nelson wants a safeguard to be written into the ordinance to address contractors against whom complaints are consistently filed for damaging cars that are being towed.

City Manager Kenneth Howard said the ordinance does contain provisions and operation requirements to address contractors who have unsatisfactory performances and how they can be removed from the rotation list.

The council then approved an award of $102,821.50 to Sittle Construction for Liberty transit infrastructure improvements, with the funding coming from the Transit CARES ACT funds.

A request by Diversity Health Center for a variance for two proposed front porches on two existing buildings at 303 Fraser Drive also was approved. The two existing buildings are currently meeting the required 35-foot front-yard building setback, but the proposed front porches encroach about 4.5 feet into the front-yard setback. The porches will enhance the aesthetics of the current buildings and give additional curb appeal as well as more seating to the occupants.

Two different property owners then received zone variances to allow them to place sheds in their yards.

Mayor and council approved the final plat for Cherokee Station, Phase 3A, and acceptance of the dedications noted on the plat with standard and the following special conditions: 1. Prior to final acceptance of the utilities and recording the final plat, the project shall be successfully closed out.

2. Prior to issuance of a certificate of occupancy for any houses in this phase, the deed transferring ownership of the pump station tract to the city shall be recorded.

They also approved the final plat for the Gardens at 15 West subdivision, Phase 2, with the same special conditions.

They then approved a request from a homeowner to rezone 0.60 acres of land, and 0.52 acres of land, from R-3 (Single-Family Dwelling District) to MH-2 (Single- Family Manufactured Home Dwelling District). Four parcels on Strickland Road are already zoned MH-2.

They authorized the submission of the 2022 Annual Action Plan to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, which enables continued funding under the Community Development Block Grant, to be used for the following, for a total of $263,728:

• Affordable housing: $151,432

• Irene B. Thomas Park: $20,000

• Program administration: $52,746

• Public Service Agency sub-recipient program: $39,559 They also approved the submission for the 2022 Emergency Solutions Grant, on behalf of the Community Development Department’s Homeless Prevention Program, for funding consideration by the Georgia Department of Community Affairs for the continuation of several homeless prevention programs. The funds, $99,000 in total, will be allocated as follows:

• Hotel/motel vouchers: $20,000

• Rapid re-housing: $30,000

• Homeless prevention: $30,000

• HMIS/coordinated entry: $19,000 To comply with state laws, the city approved to amend its fingerprinting fees to $43.25 for applicants applying for their initial alcohol beverage licenses.

Councilman Keith Jenkins then appointed Liston Singletary to the Hinesville Downtown Development Authority Board after John Baker resigned from the board.

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