A pilot project allowing food trucks in five Sooke parks begins this summer.
Sooke district council will allow food trucks to offer their fare at Whiffin Spit, Ed Macgregor, John Phillips Memorial, Broomhill Playground, and Sooke Potholes.
A lottery system will determine which business is permitted to work in each park.
The trucks will rotate weekly, permitting each food service to work in each park, and determine the hours and days of the week they choose to work. The food truck must close by sunset, the district said.
“A food truck parked in the vicinity may keep people in the park, rather than them going home to cook,” said Medea Mills, the district’s business license inspector.
“Once residents are aware that food options will be in select parks, they may deliberately attend the park so they can picnic with food purchased at the park.”
Food trucks are not allowed, under the community parks regulation bylaw, to operate in municipal parks without the council’s approval for commercial activities.
Several operators have been pushing the district to cut the red tape surrounding food trucks, which are restricted to selling food in private parking lots and at events.
The majority of the council praised the pilot project decision, but councillors Al Beddows and Jeff Bateman questioned the effects on established restaurant businesses.
Beddows said he liked the idea that the program was starting as a pilot project.
“If there’s a lot of push back from restaurants that pay a lot of taxes, then we can revisit it. It’s worth a try,” he said.
Food truck operators who decide to work in parks will be required to pay a $300 damage deposit, have a garbage can large enough to collect refuse and clean up the area at the end of the day.
“Food trucks are all the rage, and I’m excited about the possibility,” Bateman said.