Horry County Council to discuss food trucks, Loris neighborhood revitalization

Horry County Council to discuss food trucks, Loris neighborhood revitalization

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - The discussion surrounding food trucks in Horry County was a hot topic last week among council members at a workshop.

On Thursday morning at the Infrastructure and Regulation Committee meeting, members will review the proposed food truck pilot program ordinance. If they have any changes or recommendations, it will go back to be re-worked. The goal is that when it's sent off to county council for three readings, there won't be any surprises this time around. According to Lisa Bourcier, the county's spokesperson, there seems to be strong interest among council in pushing forward to get food trucks moving in the county.

"There's definitely a lot of conversations about the distance from a brick-and-mortar restaurant, even issues concerning the carts that we already have in place in the county and distances to new businesses as well. A lot of minor particulars that we'll look into," said Bourcier about Thursday's I&R meeting.

The ordinance that will be reviewed Thursday also lists a lot of requirements from submitting for a permit in the pilot program to where trucks would be allowed to set up. The ordinance currently states trucks would need to be at least 200 feet away from a school or an existing restaurant. The truck owners also have to get permission from the owner of the lot to set up shop there, and no more than one truck will be allowed in the same lot.

Other details they'll be discussing about food trucks include hours of operation and merchandising displays. After any recommendations or changes from this committee meeting, it will then have to go back to county council to pass three readings before the pilot program can start.

Also up for discussion at the I&R meeting is the Bennett Loop Neighborhood Revitalization Plan. This revitalization plan is the second one the county is taking on, and it's part of the county's master plan.

The Bennett Loop neighborhood in Loris is right behind the airport. It's not really a loop, just a long, curved, dead-end road. The road is littered with trash, and numerous burned-down, abandoned, or dilapidated homes.

So part of the county's master plan is to go into low to moderate-income areas and try to connect with the community members and local churches, in order to gauge what their interests and concerns are. Then they come up with a plan to get the community involved in the revitalization and give them a roadmap on how to achieve that.

The first one done was in Racepath about two years ago and it's doing very well, according to Bourcier. So for Bennett Loop, they're using some of the same criteria. When they did the surveys in this neighborhood, the majority of what people were concerned with included drugs, crime, and no sidewalks or street lights.

"We're able to go in there and help them establish goals as a community. And we're able to assist with clean-ups, able to secure some grant money to rehab some of the homes that are debilitated, and able to rehab them and make them livable for them, and any additional type of infrastructure that they may need in that area," says Bourcier.

This is all at committee level right now. So Thursday, members will have the chance to bring up any concerns before it's sent off to council. At council it will then go through three readings before final approval.

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