The City of Tucson may soon let food truck courts within city limits. The citys Planning and Development Services held the first meeting to get public feedback on a code amendment to allow food truck gatherings to exist.

The reason for the code amendment comes largely from the work between the city and The Pit, a food truck court on 22nd Street and South Pantano Road.

One of the owners of The Pit, Amber Donahue, said she’s had to jump through hoops to keep her business open.

The City of Tucsons Code Enforcement got involved in June of last year because they said the establishment did not follow city code. But Donahue said there was no city code specifically addressing food truck courts.

There was no language to support anything like this, she explained.

In January 2023, Code Enforcement asked The Pit to close. A day later, The Pit owners and city officials reached an agreement to keep The Pit open because they were working so closely on this amendment to the city’s code.

Its come full circle within the last year from having code enforcement say No, you cant do anything like this, to having city council back this, to having our mayor back this idea, from having zoning and development come together and reviewing different scenarios in other municipalities where this really works and is seen as a huge win and pro for neighborhoods, said Amber Donahue.

Some key points from the code amendment introduced include:

Defining Food Court: A unified establishment which serves food for consumption on or off premises from multiple eateries or vendors. Food Courts may be developed to include any combination of indoor or outdoor operations Outdoor activities may not have music or loudspeakers within 600 feet of a residential area Retail sales cannot exceed 50% of vendor sales Permanent power pedestals and central grease interceptors are required No outdoor generators Hours of operation limited to 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.  Permanent or temporary accessible restrooms are required One parking space per vendor and 1/100 square feet for designated outdoor seating Dust proof service may be permitted  Additional landscaping is not required  Landscaping and storm water retention and detention standards do not apply if permanent paving is not required

Overall, Donahue was pleased with the amendment.

Were very happy with the language that they put forward, she said.

The city is moving into the next step of finalizing the code amendment, followed by a planning commission study session in September.

The Planning Commission hopes to have a Review and Public Hearing in mid-October and have a refined plan to the Mayor and Council before December.