ON AIR NOW

LISTEN NOW

Weather

Sponsored By: Two Men and a Truck
cloudy-day
86°
Sunny
H 94° L 77°
  • cloudy-day
    86°
    Current Conditions
    Sunny. H 94° L 77°
  • clear-day
    78°
    Morning
    Sunny. H 94° L 77°
  • cloudy-day
    90°
    Afternoon
    Partly Cloudy. H 92° L 78°
LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest top stories

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest traffic report

00:00 | 00:00

LISTEN
PAUSE
ERROR

The latest forecast

00:00 | 00:00

News
Jax food trucks will see more regulation, but proponent looking at changes
Close

Jax food trucks will see more regulation, but proponent looking at changes

Jax food trucks will see more regulation, but proponent looking at changes
Photo Credit: Action News

Jax food trucks will see more regulation, but proponent looking at changes

A full crowd in Jacksonville’s City Council chambers, including dozens of food truck owners and even more supporters speaking out against proposed regulations for the city’s food trucks.

Councilman Reggie Brown, who is pushing the change, began the public meeting saying there is no current reference to food trucks in the city’s code. The Office of General Counsel says while there is regulation at the state level, there is nothing right now the city directly enforces- with the exception of code issues around trucks like garbage disposal.

“The city has a responsibility to ensure public safety,” Brown says.

A general outline of the proposal as it stands was first laid out, including limits on when and where the food trucks could operate. Brown emphasized from the beginning that this is a working draft that is far from complete. That was welcome news to truckies- who believe the draft as written would put them out of business.

“Setting regulations, there’s no problem with that. But setting regulations that are making it impossible for a business to succeed I think is unfair,” says On The Fly Sandwiches and Stuff owner Andrew Ferenc.

A lot of the time today was spent with food truck owners squashing misconceptions held by Brown and the other councilmen and city staffers in attendance.

 “I pay rent in two places- I have a lot Downtown that we rent and we also have a kitchen… My overhead isn’t as low as everybody thinks it is,” Ferenc says.

Another big question surrounds the location where food trucks could operate under this regulation. The proposal now says food trucks would not be allowed to set up in a residential neighborhood. For The Loving Cup food truck owner Matt Lennon, that means losing thousands by not being able to serve some nursing homes or other residential events with which he has built a relationship.

“It’s going to be so painful if I have to close my doors and go get a job for me because I dumped everything I have in to this,” Lennon says.

Brown tells me he was unaware food trucks operated as caterers in some situations, and he does not intend to stop that from happening. The intent behind limiting residential activity circles mainly around “trucks” he’s seen in neighborhoods set up –sometimes more as trailers on bricks than trucks- and never moving.

“They’re skirting all the regulations because they’re operating as a food truck, but we know they’re there 24 hours a day 7 days a week,” Brown says.

While his experience in residential neighborhoods was the inspiration behind much of this legislation, a handful of Downtown business owners came out to say the urban core is a concern.

“If they don’t look at that, then they’re going to see brick and mortar businesses shutting down,” says Pita Pit owner Annd Patel.

Patel says Downtown Jacksonville is not vibrant right now in attracting enough people for a steady lunchtime rush. He’s built his location near the Duval County Courthouse from the ground up, so he has a stake in that location and can’t just pick up and move.

“It takes away from the people who have invested,” Patel says.

Several businesses owners from right off Hemming Plaza also spoke about the business decline they’ve seen, or the increase in garbage in their area tied to food truck customers.

But many Downtown businesses came out in support of food trucks as well. Some of them actually own a food truck in addition to their business, others partner with food trucks, and still others enjoy the variety it provides for their workers seeking a quick lunch option. The Downtown Investment Authority also passed a resolution supporting food trucks and expressing concern about the current proposal just moments before today’s public meeting began.

The Mayor’s Office tells me once this legislation comes together, they would want it to be vetted by the DIA before deciding whether to support it.

Still another interest in this discussion is businesses who support food trucks. Chriss Brown owns the Beaver Street Commissary, where several food trucks cook and store food. The location provides a state inspected and regulated facility for these trucks to operate, and Brown says if they were to have to shut down or move, she would lose the clientele. Other businesses who perform repairs on the trucks mirrored her concern about a potential loss in business, should the regulations prove too restricting.

Ultimately, Councilman Brown recruited more than a dozen people today to take part in a special committee which will meet within two weeks to start figuring out what kind of compromise can be reached in drafting this legislation.

“I don’t see major changes, I see a few modifications,” he says.

He’s already looking at changes from the current proposal, like not limiting the number of coolers allowed in the trucks. He says a curfew is still an option, however.

Brown hopes to have the legislation written and ready to present in from of Jacksonville’s City Council within three months.

Read More
VIEW COMMENTS

There are no comments yet. Be the first to post your thoughts. or Register.

The Latest News Headlines

  • The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office is investigating after what appears to be a drive-by shooting near a local park.   Police tell us a 16-year-old was shot in the abdomen around 3:30 pm Friday afternoon, in the area of Westbrook Park.   Three juveniles witnessed the shooting. They describe the shots as coming from a white Chevrolet Impala, but there is no information about the actual suspect at this time.   The 16-year-old victim's injuries are said to be non-life threatening and he's expected to be OK.
  • The new owner of the lavish mansion where Latitude 360 CEO Brent Brown used to live has been cited for illegally renting out the property as an event venue.Action News Jax found evidence that Brown still has connections to the property.Brown lived in the sprawling waterfront estate at 4424 Kelnepa Drive while his employees' paychecks bounced, and while government records show he failed to pay taxes.Now customers can spend thousands of dollars to rent it out for a party.The problem? It's not legal.Neighbors say the events have turned their quiet San Marco street into a nightmare.'People going to parties, parties, parties, parties,' neighbor Marie Wood said.'We can't get in our driveway,' neighbor Bonnie Biats said.'The party trucks, the rental trucks and the 50-100 cars that show up at functions about every weekend,' neighbor Bobby Thomas said. Investigation finds mansion formerly owned by #Latitude360 CEO is being rented for illegal parties. #ANJaxInvestigates his involvement at 6. pic.twitter.com/yUH0iXGahe-- Jenna Bourne (@jennaANjax) July 21, 2017 Eight neighbors tell Action News Jax they have had enough.When they bought their homes on Kelnepa Drive, they thought they were moving onto a quiet street.That was before the mansion at the end of the cul-de-sac started being advertised as a resort called the Tuscan River Estate, booking weddings, parties and other events online all the way into May 2018.Last week, the city of Jacksonville posted a citation on the gate because this property is not zoned or permitted as an event venue.'I don't think it impressed the resort people at all because they started preparing for a new event that afternoon,' said neighbor Allan Biats, who said it was his complaint to city councilwoman Lori Boyer that sparked Code Enforcement's investigation. Neighbors say lavish events at mansion formerly owned by #Latitude360 CEO has turned their street into a nightmare. #ANJaxInvestigates at 6 pic.twitter.com/zOjEulvh8F-- Jenna Bourne (@jennaANjax) July 21, 2017 Neighbor of Brent Brown: 'He continues to play shell games'Action News Jax has been investigating the financial failures of now-bankrupt entertainment eatery Latitude 360 and its CEO Brown for nearly two years.Property appraiser records show Brown sold his mansion to CLS Asset Management.CLS Asset Management then sold the mansion to Tuscan River Estate LLC.Here's the thing: Florida Department of State filings show that Tuscan River Estate LLC is listed as the registered agent for CLS Asset Management.Tuscan River Estate LLC is registered in Delaware, where you don't have to name a registered agent. But Michael Johnigean is listed on the venue's website as the manager.Johnigean is also the director of Rex Gryphon LLC, a company whose certificate of formation is signed by Brent Brown's wife Antonia (Toni) Brown.One more thing about CLS Asset Management: Florida Department of State filings show its general partner is Brownstone Developers, LLC - a company that is managed by Brent and Antonia Brown.'He continues to play shell games with the ownership of the house, trying to stay one step ahead of his creditors, I'm sure,' neighbor Bill Wood said. At 6:Neighbor says Brent Brown 'continues to play shell games with the ownership of the house, trying to stay 1 step ahead of his creditors' pic.twitter.com/gH6r6IliB0-- Jenna Bourne (@jennaANjax) July 21, 2017 Brown's mother continues to look after Tuscan River EstateAction News Jax found several current ties still remain between the Browns and the mansion.Brent Brown's mother Sheri Brown still has a clicker for the gate. She showed up while Action News Jax was outside in an unmarked car.'I just kind of look over the property, make sure everything's OK,' Sheri Brown said.A review from last month on the website HomeAway thanks Toni Brown for being 'extremely helpful' during an event.Action News Jax left multiple voicemails for Brent Brown asking to get his side of the story. He has not responded. At 6: New owner of mansion where #Latitude360 CEO lived denies it's being rented illegally for events. Neighbors say these pics are proof. pic.twitter.com/lt8LGgPasY-- Jenna Bourne (@jennaANjax) July 21, 2017 Johnigean texted Action News Jax that what he was doing is 'perfectly legal.'He agreed to meet for an interview.Then two days later, Johnigean said he didn't have time to talk after all.But Johnigean did have time to call Scott Odell and give him Action News Jax reporter Jenna Bourne's number.'Everything's smooth,' said Odell, who lives next door to the mansion. 'There's no trash. We hear zero noise.'When Bourne asked Odell why his account differed from eight of his neighbors' experiences, he responded, 'Well, they may have other motivations.' Before & after: Website changed to remove event planner after city cited San Marco mansion owner for illegal parties. #ANJaxInvestigates @ 6 pic.twitter.com/F2HKubqlSR-- Jenna Bourne (@jennaANjax) July 21, 2017 Neighbor: Kelnepa Drive has turned into 'a carnival atmosphere'Allan Biats said his only motivation is to get his quiet street back.'I just find it hard to believe that someone can steal an entire street from a neighborhood and turn it into a carnival atmosphere,' said Allan Biats.The booking page of Tuscan River Estate's website said it costs a minimum of $650 a night to stay at the mansion, with a three-night minimum stay required.During checkout, customers can select an option to add an additional $2,000 to hold an event there for up to 100 people.That's not including the hundreds of dollars that customers can expect to be charged for a cleaning fee and lodging tax.Despite the event booking options on the website, Johnigean texted Action News Jax the following statement: 'The Tuscan River Estate has been on HomeAway for two years. The Estate is a rental destination. I do not provide any other services but a rental service of the Estate. This is perfectly legal along with millions of other homes set up as rentals throughout the United States. Tuscan River Estate, LLC has property rights according to both State and County Laws. The home has been under new ownership since April 1, 2016 and management. If our guest choose to hold their event at the Estate. I will insure that their event has minimal impact on the neighborhood. I apologize to the neighbors if their [sic] has been any issues in the past. I will make sure that if any of our tenants hold an event at the Estate that the neighbors will not have any issues and they will have my contact info so they can contact me direct.' City councilwoman Lori Boyer said code enforcement will re-inspect the property 30 days after the July 14 citation was issued.Boyer said the Jacksonville Fire and Rescue Department and the Building Inspections Division were also notified because they may be able to enforce fire safety issues due to capacity.After the citation was issued, the Tuscan River Estate website took down the contact information for its event planner, Anne Urban.The website also changed its 'services' section to include a disclaimer that says, 'This is not a commercial property and we do not provide commercial services.' Brent Brown has business ties to new owner of mansion. His mother still has clicker to front gate. A review thanks his wife for help @ event pic.twitter.com/QEtjW5XRGr-- Jenna Bourne (@jennaANjax) July 21, 2017 RELATED COVERAGELatitude 360 closes its doors on the SouthsideReport: Latitude 360 didn't report wagesState Attorney's Office investigating Latitude 360Latitude 360 CEO Brent Brown in BuzzFeed report: 'I don't owe anybody s---'Main Entertainment Event opens in Jacksonville at former Latitude 360
  • White House press secretary Sean Spicer resigned from his post Friday morning, six months and one day after taking the position. >> Read more trending news In a message posted to Twitter Friday afternoon, Spicer said he will continue to serve as press secretary through August. >> Related: Sean Spicer resigns: A look at his 6 months as White House press secretary “It's been an honor (and) a privilege to serve (President Donald Trump and) this amazing country,” he wrote. Deputy White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will take over his duties, newly named White House communications director Anthony Scaramucci said at a news briefing Friday. Spicer’s resignation came in opposition to Scaramucci’s appointment, The New York Times reported.
  • The teenagers who police said did nothing to help a drowning man and instead recorded the incident and mocked him may now face charges, Cocoa police said.. At first, the suspects were not going to be charged in connection with 31-year-old Jamel Dunn’s death. >> Read more trending news Investigators were told by the State Attorney’s Office that while there was no moral justification for the July 9 incident at Bracco Pond Park, there wasn’t sufficient evidence to support a criminal prosecution under Florida statutes. Related: Teens recorded video, laughed while man drowned Dunn’s body wasn’t found until July 14 when a passerby saw his body floating in the pond. Police announced Friday that they would be able to recommend charges against the teens under a Florida statute saying that a person who witnesses a death must report it to a medical examiner. Police said it’s a misdemeanor charge that hasn’t been applied in a case like this. “When we initially reviewed this case it was determined there were no laws broken as the teens were not directly involved with the death,” said Chief Mike Cantaloupe. “Further research of the statutes and consultation with the State Attorney’s Office yielded the decision to move forward with charges under this statute. It’s our belief that this law has never been enforced in a scenario like this, but we feel it could be applicable.” Link: Fundraiser for Jamel Dunn’s family The State Attorney’s Office will decide if a case is filed. In the video, police said a group of teenage boys can be heard yelling things like, “We’re not going to help you and you never should have gotten in there,” as Dunn screamed for help and struggled in the water. Police said video evidence showed that Dunn went into the water on his own. A neighbor’s security camera showed Dunn scaling a fence and intentionally going into the pond, police said. “Regardless of the circumstances surrounding his decision to enter the water that day, there is absolutely no justification for what the teens did,” Cantaloupe said. “Pursuing criminal charges is a way to hold them accountable for their own actions.” One of the teenagers mentioned marijuana in the nearly three-minute video.  The identities of the teens have not been released. 
  • A Scottish man will head back to Jacksonville to face a murder charge, ending a lengthy extradition battle, according to the BBC.  A release from the European Court of Human Rights states Phillip Harkins’ final appeal against legal extradition was rejected Monday morning.  Court documents show in 2000, Harkins was indicted in Jacksonville for first-degree murder and attempted robbery with a firearm. The crime itself occurred in 1999. He was then arrested in the UK in 2003, prompting the United States to seek extradition.  Harkins argued his human rights would be breached if sent back. Harkins complained he risked the death penalty or a sentence of life imprisonment without the possibility of parole. Monday, the court declared the complaint inadmissible. In the release from the European Court of Human Rights they explained, “The Court concluded that the facts of the case did not disclose any risk that Mr. Harkins would suffer a flagrant denial of justice. Nor indeed had Mr. Harkins himself suggested that the trial process in the USA would be unfair.” We have reached out to state and federal authorities to see what comes next for Harkins.

The Latest News Videos