City has no appetite yet for food trucks on beach

WHITE ROCK – Beachgoers won’t be seeing food trucks down on the city’s waterfront this summer, as the city has decided to look further into the matter.

In a presentation to council, staff reported on a recent open house held to gauge public feedback on possibly allowing the trucks in White Rock.

According to Karen Cooper, the city’s director of planning and development, 41 people attended the food truck open house, with mixed verbal feedback. However, written comments were primarily positive and 64 per cent of the questionnaires were also positive.

“There were only four letters in opposition,” said Cooper, noting that there were a number of concerns and benefits brought up, such as how it may affect local businesses or increase tourism.

Coun. Helen Fathers wondered if the city might do better to hold a food truck festival of sorts, similar to what’s done in Vancouver, rather than have trucks throughout the season.

Fathers also went on to say that if the city does end up allowing food trucks, it needs to be decided if they would be self-contained like the ones at the farmers’ market, or if they need additional support.

Fellow councillor Louise Hutchinson said they would need to thoroughly look at how it would affect the local economy and wondered if adding more food options really was the answer.

“I think that food trucks can make in a season what it takes our full time business to earn in a year,” she said. “We don’t need anymore commercial ventures on the beach in the way of food.”

Ultimately, Cooper said staff would like more time to research the potential program and understand how a White Rock food truck program might look.

In the meantime, the city was moving forward with its food cart program, set to roll out later this spring.