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  1. Pinellas

Full-time food trucks likely coming soon to Largo

Trucks will still have some requirements to meet, but won't need a special event permit

LARGO — Food truck vendors may soon park just about wherever they please without a special event permit in the city. But their ability to do so will hinge on the property owner providing the parking spot.

Plus, food truck vendors should provide a trash can for that tinfoil taco wrapper, Mayor Woody Brown said.

In an effort to streamline the process of regularly operating a food truck in Largo, economic development coordinator Karisa Rojas-Norton proposed the ordinance at a recent commission meeting. The ordinance amends Largo's development code to establish provisions governing food truck operations.

Brown and the commission approved the ordinance 6-1 on first reading, with Michael Smith casting the dissenting vote. The second and final reading will be Feb. 19.

The regulations currently require vendors to buy special events permits for $75 to operate and they can only do so for 15-day intervals. Still — as Commissioner Jamie Robinson and other city officials acknowledged — many vendors are already operating on a permanent or semi-permanent basis in some locations anyway.

Also, officials noted that few, if any, complaints have been reported about food trucks.

Food truck operators would still have to obtain a business tax receipt if they're based in Largo or register as a vendor if not. They would also have to provide proof of a fire inspection, either by Largo Fire Rescue or another department — a state requirement.

What's different is that property owners will be able to apply for a $125 site-plan review to host a food truck on their property.

"We really looked hard at the process and making it as simple as possible," Rojas-Norton assured.

Special event permits will still be required for larger events, such as food truck rallies. Permits are not required for private events or for construction teams hired by private employers.

Largo resident Geoff Moakley addressed the commission with a concern for the potential of litter, plastic and straws strewn about. He said that he found a Styrofoam container in a Largo sewer drain near a food truck site. Brown agreed and said vendors should provide a trash bucket.