Food trucks in Franklin?

Published 10:52 pm Friday, August 23, 2019

Public invited to comment on proposed changes to zoning laws


Franklin’s City Council and Planning Commission will hold a joint public hearing on Monday at 7 p.m. to receive comments from residents on a draft ordinance amendment that would make multiple changes to the city’s zoning laws. Proposed changes include allowing food trucks and vendors within the city limits, adjusting the minimum lot size for detached single-family homes in the R-O district, and amending the city’s parking regulations.

According to the public notice the city published in the Sunday, Aug. 18 edition of The Tidewater News, Section 2.13 of the zoning ordinance is proposed to be amended for the purpose of allowing food trucks and mobile food vendors on developed properties within the city, provided that these vendors obtain an annual administrative permit issued by the city’s zoning administrator. Sections 10.4, 11.4, 12.4, 12A.4, 13.3 and 14.3 of the zoning ordinance would likewise be amended to allow a mobile food vendor as a permitted accessory use.

Sections 3.5 and 3.7 of the zoning ordinance and the table in section 19.2 would be amended to decrease the minimum lot size for detached single-family homes in the R-O Single Family Residence District from 40,000 square feet to 20,000 square feet, and to reduce the minimum lot width from 150 feet to 100 feet.

The city’s official zoning map would also be amended to change the portion of the B-3 General Business District, which is located in the downtown central commercial area, from B-3 to B-3A. Section 19.2(2) of the zoning ordinance would then be amended to provide that any lot lawfully of record, except in the B-3 and M districts, may be used for a single-family dwelling, even if such lot does not meet the lot area or lot width requirements of the district. This is provided all the other regulations of the zoning ordinance are satisfied. Such a dwelling, as a result, would not be deemed nonconforming.

Sections 18.2 through 18.5 would be amended to provide for reduced required off-street parking for select uses, and to provide for special parking regulations for single-family detached dwellings. The amendment would specify units of measurement and how to calculate the number of required parking spaces, and would allow the Planning Commission or zoning administrator to approve increases or decreases in the number of parking spaces, conditioned on a reduction of pre-development stormwater runoff. The amendment would also reduce the minimum width of parking spaces to nine feet and offer alternative parking surfaces to reduce post-development stormwater runoff volume from entering the off-site receiving system.

Full texts of the proposed ordinance amendments are available at the office of the secretary of the Planning Commission, located in Franklin’s City Hall at 207 W. Second Ave., Franklin. The public hearing will be in the council chamber of City Hall.