What will it take to get food trucks up and running in Horry Cou - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

What will it take to get food trucks up and running in Horry County?

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) - Chances are likely for food trucks becoming a reality in Horry County following a council meeting Tuesday. But that doesn't mean you'll see them popping up on your corner the next day.

Horry County Council approved the food truck ordinance last week, but the minutes of that meeting must still be approved this coming Tuesday. Once that is done, the food trucks can start requesting permits to set up shop.

Before a food truck can get rolling, it has to go through a process of permits, inspections, and search for the perfect spot. The trucks must be 300 feet away from any restaurant, and 200 feet from any school. As the ordinance stands, there is one food truck per 2 acres allowed, and there can't be more than 15 trucks all in one spot.

Right now, all food “units” are allowed. So that goes for food trucks, carts, pre-packaged, ice cream, and vendors. There was debate over whether only trucks with pre-packed food would be allowed. But after debate, it was decided as long as you have all the right permits from DHEC and the county, you'd be good to go.

Joshua Shimmin, The manager of KindBelly, a newer restaurant off 38th Avenue North, says that at one point, he was considering getting into the food truck business.

“I can see how some places could be skeptical,” Shimmin said.. “But food trucks are just a good way for small businesses to start out and expand from there. I feel like just through our customer base, it seems like there's a pretty high demand for that culinary culture.”

Some who have supported the food truck ordinance from the get-go say it's a two-way street when it comes to the benefit of food trucks. Start-ups can get a jump in the market with a food truck, and existing restaurants can also expand.

As an example, Shimmin says at the end of next month, the restaurant will be a year old. Still being so young and fresh, they're actually looking to expand. The truck they have right now is not outfitted to function as an actual food truck, but last October, they were seriously thinking about it if the ordinance was finally passed. But after the county stalled out and turned down the ordinance last year by surprise, KindBelly had to start looking into other options to expand.

“It's kind of bittersweet because we are expanding,” Shimmin said. “But we're missing out on the food trucks right now, which we really wish we weren't. But hopefully if the expansion goes well, we'll be able to hop on the food truck bandwagon next year or sometime sooner maybe.”

There's talk of a food truck rodeo zone in Myrtle Beach, but it's all hypotheticals. It's nothing city leaders have discussed in any detail. But rodeos are a common practice in many other cities. Basically, there would be one big area where dozens of trucks can congregate to make it easier on the customer to roam and find what they want all at once. But based on our city and county ordinances, just one truck is allowed per parcel of territory.

Foodies and food truck hopefuls say they're happy the ordinance was finally passed in the county. And they're just hoping that once they prove that food trucks are successful, then maybe the ordinance can be revised down the road.

Copyright 2015 WMBF News. All rights reserved.

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