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Arts District business owners pushing back against food truck lot plan

Food truck lot plan to be reviewed by City Council Wednesday; opposition growing
Posted at 7:11 PM, Feb 15, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-16 10:56:32-05

LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The Las Vegas City Council is set to review a December decision by the Planning Commission on Wednesday that would allow a food truck lot to take shape in the Arts District and opposing petitions on Change.Org are gaining signatures.

"I don't want to be looked at as opposition," said Jason Craig, who is spearheading the Urban Food Lot plan. "We want to enrich the community."

Craig said the plan will drive more business downtown and create opportunities for food truck owners like Chef Jon Batista. Batista said Las Vegas has made it difficult for food trucks to operate. Having a designated food truck lot where he could rent space could help.

"It's just very confusing," said Batista. "The laws and the things they stop people from making an honest living."

But that's part of what's creating opposition to the lot in the first place. Brick-and-mortar business owners like Wyndee Forrest of Crafthaus Brewery say they're all for welcoming new businesses into the neighborhood but under the approved plan, they don't believe the lot owner is being held to the same food and beverage standards as they are.

"There really is no infrastructure," said Forrest. "There is no plan for grey water waste, there's no plan for garbage. There's no plan for restrooms."

Craig said while the concept is mobile in nature, that doesn't mean they're not pouring money and care into the product. In the case of the bathrooms specifically, Craig said his developing partner has a building catty-corner from the lot, which will have a public restroom. He said down the line if that proves not enough, they will move to a plan B - a trailer-type bathroom setup on the lot.

"That was never a luxury afforded to any of our businesses," said Forrest of Crafthaus Brewery. "I couldn't put in one bathroom per my occupancy and then maybe later on down the road, I'll install another one if I can prove my concept."

Forrest said with a better infrastructure plan, she and other owners would be supportive. Batista said he doesn't understand the push back but said the plans can always be adjusted. He said he hopes everyone can work together because this, he believes, will be good for everyone.

"That reputation is not going to go anywhere," said Batista of existing Arts District businesses. "They established something and I think that's great what they've done. I think this would only add to that, not take away."