Crestwood aldermen discuss oversight of food trucks in city neighborhoods


Photo by Erin Achenbach

Dinner-goers visit 9 Mile Garden, a food truck garden in Affton July 2020.

By Lucas Irizarry, Staff Reporter

The Crestwood Board of Aldermen discussed the potential to allow food trucks in residential areas at a meeting May 24.

Currently the city does not allow food trucks in residential areas, citing noise, traffic and crowd concerns. Mayor Grant Mabie said he has heard from a few residents that they would like to see the city allow them in neighborhoods with a special permit. 

“Residents have pointed out that quite a few other communities allow food trucks on a limited basis in residential areas, in conjunction with block parties and graduation parties,” Mabie said. “I know we’re working on a special event permit … you could have a separate food truck ordinance or make it part of a special event permit.”

Police Chief Jonathan Williams said the board will see the special event ordinance at a future meeting. The board meets again June 28.

City Administrator Kris Simpson said while the concept of allowing food trucks seems simple, situations could escalate with large crowds and result in a lot of nuisance complaints. Even without a large crowd, some food trucks require generators, which can be loud. 

Ward 1 Alderman Jim Zavist said if the board finds the situations hard to enforce, it could apply a six-month renewal clause to the ordinance to allow the board to reevaluate. 

Other ideas thrown around for a possible ordinance include parking spot regulations, a generator ban and an allowed timeframe.

Williams said if the board does move forward with the matter, it needs to include something about closing down the street the food truck is on.

“People stand in line, there aren’t many driveways big enough in Crestwood to have a truck be contained,” Williams said. “I will not sign off on a permit — I’m sure (Fire) Chief (Lou Hecht) wouldn’t — unless that street is contained.”

The board directed the Public Works Committee to begin working on an ordinance to allow food trucks in neighborhoods in some manner.