Aztec to consider food truck ordinance

Hannah Grover
Derrick Dona, left, Ryan Dona, 5, LaVena Dona and Natalie Dona, 2, eat at Fabulous Franks of the Four Corners on Saturday at Gateway Park in Farmington. Aztec commissioners are considering allowing food truck vendors to operate in public spaces in the town.

FARMINGTON – A little more than a month after Farmington started allowing food trucks in city parks, the city of Aztec is considering following its neighbor's lead.

The City Commission will have a work session at 5 p.m. Tuesday evening to discuss the possibility of opening about a dozen locations in city parks for food trucks and other mobile food service units, such as push carts.

Current business regulations prohibit using city parks for commercial purposes, but food trucks can operate on private property. Aztec City Manager Josh Ray said there are three food trucks that operate on private property within Aztec city limits.

If the commission chooses to allow food trucks in parks, it will designate between 10 and 12 spaces throughout the city where they can operate.

Ray said two groups approached the city about operating a burrito truck or a sandwich truck on public property.

"In order to do that now, we have to amend the ordinance," he said.

Annette Davis, the Aztec Chamber of Commerce treasurer, said the changed regulations could have both positive and negative effects.

"It's always nice to have a variety, but it can hurt the restaurant industry," she said.

The proposed regulations will require food vendors to operate at least 100 feet away from similar businesses.

While such a change could increase competition for local restaurants, H Dawgs, a newly opened hot dog restaurant on Main Avenue, is interested in using a food cart to sell its goods outside of the restaurant, Ray said.

Allowing food vendors on public property could also help spur increased business development, Ray said. He explained that food carts and trucks tend to have a lower overhead cost than buildings.

"I think it's a great outreach for people who are wanting to start a business," he said.

Hannah Grover covers Aztec and Bloomfield, as well as general news, for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652.