Food trucks officially coming to Myrtle Beach under pilot program

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – Food trucks will officially come to Myrtle Beach, but under a one year pilot program.

Council members approved an ordinance Tuesday that would allow them to operate in the city but with some changes to their previous plans.

Members decided to halve the number of permits allowed under the pilot program. Earlier this summer they discussed 20 permits, then later limited it to 12. Tuesday, they decided on six.

They also decided to increase the distance between trucks and established restaurants from 100 to 500 feet. This means operators could not locate their truck within 500 feet of another business’s entrance without their permission.

The changes drew mixed reactions from the public.

“I think it dampens the entrepreneurial spirit of the business owners,” Nicholette Hemingway told News13 after the meeting. “Because if you’ve already decided on 12 and now you’re reducing it to six, those other six people won’t have a chance to run their food trucks.”

One food truck owner said the changes don’t bother him.

“Going from 12 to six i think as a pilot program it’s not a huge deal,” said Drew Basilicato, who owns the Trojan Cow food truck. “Because it’s not set in stone, and there have not been a lot of food trucks coming out of the floodgates anyway.”

Mayor John Rhodes said although they scaled back to six, council could be flexible on that number if more people show interest.

“Let’s let six get out there, let’s see how it works, “ he said after the meeting. “We can always add, but it’s harder to take away than it is to add.”

This ordinance allows for a trial process for food trucks, meaning city leaders want to see how it works for one year then re-evaluate if they want to continue it or make any changes.