City of Arden Hills considers limiting weekly neighborhood food truck event

An ordinance change being reviewed in Arden Hills could bring an end to Food Truck Friday. (FOX 9)

A weekly gathering in Arden Hills, Minnesota that helped provide an outlet for neighbors to get together during the height of pandemic may be put to a stop.

Each week, one neighborhood started bringing in a food truck last year as a way to safely gather. But after some complaints, the City of Arden Hills is considering changes to limit the weekly gatherings.

"It's really fun," said Food Truck Friday organizer Melissa Cordes. "Get to see the neighbors, get my kids out of the house...give them something to do."

Every Friday, when it's warm out, neighbors in the Karth Lake East neighborhood in Arden Hills get together for some food and fun.

"We did them last year," said Melissa Cordes. "Made the stay at home a lot easier to do."

But the city is considering pumping the brakes on the weekly ritual.

"It feels like a slap on the wrist and we don't understand why," Cordes added.

Melissa Cordes started organizing Food Truck Friday last year as a safe way for neighbors to check in with each other and support local food trucks during the pandemic. Up to 150 people come from the surrounding homes to eat from a different food truck every week and get to know their neighbors.

"This neighborhood means everything to me," added Cordes. "These people are my family."

But city leaders say some neighbors have complained about the odor, noise and traffic created by Food Truck Friday. They're debating changing a city ordinance to require homeowners to get a $20 permit to host a food truck while limiting the number of food trucks a resident could host to twice a year.

If they violate the ordinance, they would face a misdemeanor and a $100.

"We want to allow people to have food trucks, but we also want to be sensitive to neighbors who have complained," explained Mayor Dave Grant. "A food truck every Friday; they want a better balance."

But Cordes says most of her neighbors still have an appetite for Food Truck Friday. "It felt like a gut punch because our neighborhood has really rallied around these events."

Neighbors have started a petition to stop the ordinance change. The Arden Hills City Council will take up the issue on Monday night.