Nelson council goes over patio and food-truck survey results

Nelson-City-Hall

The City of Nelson went over a community survey presentation the other week and pondered what a Mobile Vendor policy bylaw might look like in the New Year.

Over 1100 responses were received for the September survey and in summary; people are happy with the number of outdoor patios but weary about how and where food trucks might operate.

Many respondents opposed to food trucks downtown suggested the city create a food truck area, with 67% of respondents suggesting a dedicated season-long spot be located either in Rail Town or at Lakeside Park.

With a taste from staff to start chalking up a new policy bylaw in the New Year, Councillor Brittny Anderson suggests some outside-the-box-thinking and recalls a hot dog stand on Baker Street some years ago open from about 10PM to 2AM.

She says the amenity found a way to operate that didn’t necessarily compete with other downtown restaurants.

Mayor John Dooley reminds the room that local businesses already invested here are still working to achieve their pre-pandemic numbers.

He says businesses invest in the community, local events; they go to the bank and risk capital or mortgages, all while adding quality to community.

Dooley says he understands the item needs to be addressed at this time but wonders if the conversation creates more anxiety among people working really hard to get back on their feet.

On the outdoor patio side of the survey only 20% of respondents living in Nelson did not visit a downtown patio this past summer and the average person visited a patio 10 times.

42% of downtown business-owner respondents think this year’s patio offering was the right amount.

Of those same respondents 33% support more patio space, 18% think too many parking spaces were taken up and 20% support imposing a cap on the number of patios.