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Food court idea for mobile food vendors rejected

Nye County officials dismissed the idea of organizing a permanent designated food court for Pahrump mobile food vendors, calling into question its viability at a Tuesday meeting.

The proposal was brought up by the Nye County Planning Department that had been working on the ordinance for mobile food vendors after receiving several complaints about mobile food vendors being parked without approval of property owners and parked inside unpaved parking lots.

Several officials spoke against the proposal, questioning whether it would remedy current issues.

“I get one of the issues is and I take (it as) a valid issue, people with mobile carts or trucks, whatever, pulling up on private property and then other people stopping on private property,” Nye County Commissioner Dan Schinhofen said. “Now that private property owner has a liability for all of that. I think there’s an issue there, (but) whether a food court is the answer to that I don’t know. I think staff is looking not to waste a lot of time on a project that this board has no interest in doing. I don’t see a food court as a viable solution for what issues we do have with those mobile vendors.”

Donna Cox suggested bringing back the idea next year, as she said mobile food vending is a new concept for Pahrump.

“I just don’t believe we need to be interfering or telling them how to run their business right now. They are not hurting anybody,” she said.

Commissioner Frank Carbone, who voted for organizing a food court, said the reason why a lot of mobile food vendors don’t come up to Pahrump is because they don’t have a designated location.

“There’s places within the United States, in other counties, in other towns, that do have mobile food courts and the reason they put mobile food courts in place is because there’s no place to go to. It’s private property out there (that) they can’t go to or they can’t park in certain places,” he said.

According to the Small Business Development Center Network, 55 percent of market revenue for mobile food vendors comes from street corners and other street locations. Other popular locations include parking lots, construction work sites and events.

Nye County code is currently silent on regulations for mobile food vendors. A group of local officials and mobile food vendors recently had formed a mobile food vending subcommittee that hashed out a first set of preliminary rules that set out conditions for Nye County mobile food vendors.

Pahrump Regional Planning Commission Chairman and member of the sub-committee John Koenig said its members will discuss the proposed rules at the commission’s Nov.12 meeting.

“I expect to come up with a final resolution and direct staff to bring it back,” he said.

Contact reporter Daria Sokolova at dasokolova@pvtimes.com. Find her on Twitter: @dariasokolova77.

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