by Madison White Franks
KILMARNOCK—Following an August 13 public hearing, the Kilmarnock planning commission recommended town council approve a permit to allow food trucks to park at the curb at Don Lee’s Kilmarnock BrewHaus, 44 West Church Street, Kilmarnock.
Some 22 people filled Town Hall in support of the conditional use permit request. The application states West Church Street is a one-block-long, one-way street with limited traffic and the permit would allow food trucks to park only after 5 p.m. and on Saturdays and Sundays. It also states the change would bring more revenue to the town and solve safety and liability concerns. Some 102 signatures were gathered in support of the request.
Commission member Brandon Frazier moved to recommend approval of the permit and Tom Jones seconded the motion. The motion passed, 4-0-2, with support from John Raymond, Neill Shultz, Frazier and Jones. Les Spivey and Spike Nunn abstained. Commission chairman Ann Towner was absent.
“Since the last meeting, I have been down and tried both the delicious beer and food and while I was there, I didn’t leave without checking out the people and their reactions. Anyone that left either venue had a smile and was very happy. I feel that both are bringing the town together and everyone is enjoying it thoroughly,” said Frazier.
Concern was raised about safety with the possibility of people loitering in the street, but a sign could alleviate that, said Jones.
“I think it’s a positive for the town,” he said.
The service window should be on the sidewalk side, said Nunn.
“The food truck industry has exploded across the country,” said Roy Carter of White Stone. “We need things that will bring people to our county and we need things that will bring younger people to our county.”
“I don’t think food trucks are going to hurt business here in town. They send a positive message to visitors, it makes us look like we are hot and hip so to speak,” he said.
Prior to visiting the Kilmarnock BrewHaus, Bob Schell of Farnham didn’t have much to do with the town of Kilmarnock but now he has shopped at a number of businesses and he attributes it to Lee, he said.
“I think you should look at this as an opportunity to enhance the character of your village,” said Schell.