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Food Truck Court for Library Park

from: http://foodtrucksredding.com/

Tonight, March 21, 2017 at 6 p.m. the Redding City Council will vote on a concession proposal for a Food Truck Court at Library Park in downtown Redding.

I urge City Council approval for three reasons:

  1. Public Safety – The perception of good public safety is essential for revitalization of downtown Redding. Food, fun and vitality bring eyeballs, which enhance public safety in ydowntown Redding. Library Park is currently closed to public use due to transient and drug crime activity and the Food Truck Court would reclaim the park for public use.
  2. Kick-Start Implementation of A New Downtown Specific Plan – The City of Redding needs bold and creative initiatives for revitalizing downtown Redding from entrepreneurs and adventuresome groups such as Catalyst Young Professional; 20-30 Club; Shasta Living Streets; Leadership Redding; Viva Downtown, etc. I am encouraged by the positive, collaborative, creative, risk-taking attitude of Kim Niemer and City staff in looking for ways to say “yes” to fresh ideas.
  3. Flavor Alternatives – Rather than worry about “unfair competition” to brick and mortar restaurants, I believe the Food Truck Park will actually generate more business for restaurant downtown. Firstly, the Food Truck Park will appeal to a broader family friendly market, not well served downtown. Secondly, it should encourage existing restauranteurs to ramp up their flavor alternatives so that downtown Redding becomes an “intentional, Interstate 5 dining detour choice” such as Putah Creek Cafe and Buckhorn in Winters, Farwood Grill in Orland or Morning Glory Cafe in Ashland.

By way of background, Todd Franklin approached City staff with an idea to bring a food truck court to Redding as seen in many other communities with great appeal. City staff suggested Library Park as an ideal location as the infrastructure is in place and the park could use an ongoing activity providing nearby workers and residents with another dining and social. Mr. Franklin has been consulting with the owner of The Lot in Bend, Oregon and believes the concept can be successfully replicated in downtown Redding.

Kim Niemer, Redding’s Community Services Director presented this summary at the Community Services Advisory Commission meeting of February 8, 2017: “Food truck courts are a growing popular attraction in many communities. They attract customers of all ages. The unique location and amenities of Library Park/Carnegie Park provide an ideal setting for such a business. The positive impact of this activity will draw more people to the park and reduce illegal activities… The rental income will be modest, however the anticipated reduction in vandalism and calls for public safety will allow those valuable resources to be deployed elsewhere.”

One of the key recommendations of the Downtown Redding Specific Plan Update is to “make Downtown a destination by improving the public open spaces, enhancing pedestrian connectivity, and activating the dormant sites during the day and night.” One of the identified constraints is “there is a perception of the area lacking safety, which impacts Downtown as a livable and attractive destination.”

If you think a Food Truck Court would be a good idea in downtown Redding, please send a brief email of your support to Redding City Council members who will vote on the matter on March 21, 2017 at 6 p.m. Julie Winter; Brent Weaver; Kristen Schreder ; Francie Sullivan ; Adam McElvain (find email addresses here.)

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