Whitehorse’s menu options may once again be expanded through the spring and summer as the city gets ready for food truck season.
At Whitehorse city council’s March 7 meeting, council considered a recommendation to allow food trucks that will be stationed at the city parking lot at Third Avenue and Steele Street, to remain overnight.
Under the city’s parkade bylaw, vehicles cannot stay in a city parking lot between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.
That means vendors stationed inside the two spots reserved for food trucks in the parkade at Third Avenue and Steele Street must vacate the premises each night and bring their truck back in the morning.
Vendors interested in the seven public spaces available for food trucks over the summer, such as the two in the parking lot, are entered into a lottery for exclusive use of the locations over the summer season.
“Vendors at the 3rd Avenue and Steele Street parkade location operate at a disadvantage compared to those outside of city parkades by not having access to overnight parking,” Pat Ross, the city’s manager of land and building services, stated in a report to council. “Overnight parking at the other locations are not in parkades and therefore not prohibited from overnight parking.
“Granting permission for overnight parking at designated sites in public parkades will help balance the city’s ability to manage competing vendors and ensure that rights of way and parkades are used for their intended purposes while making better use of them for community activity.
Coun. Mellisa Murray questioned whether the 2021 Street Eats & Beats Festival, which saw performances and food trucks set up at Shipyards Park, was a one-time event.
Ross explained last year’s festival, which was done in partnership between the city and Yukon Arts Centre, was an evolution of the Street Eats event the city has hosted in the past. Food trucks would set up in one location for the annual event that was held over a few days. It had been held on a closed off section of Steele Street for a number of years, until 2020 when it moved to Shipyards Park, which allowed for more distancing in light of COVID-19.
While Coun. Dan Boyd said he’s generally supportive of allowing the food trucks to remain overnight, he also suggested it’s important to make it clear the city does not provide security.
Ross noted that can be outlined throught the permittng process.
Council will vote March 14 whether to move forward with the change to the bylaw.
In the meantime, applications for the seven vendor sites available this year through the city’s program are being accepted until April 22 at 3 p.m.
Contact Stephanie Waddell at email@example.com