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Gettysburg Borough Proposes Limiting Food Trucks

Under a proposal being considered by the Gettysburg Borough Council, food trucks will be banned from Lincoln Square and in the first block in each direction from it, as well as on Steinwehr Ave.

The proposal is a compromise between parties who want food trucks to be allowed everywhere and those who want to ban the trucks to an even greater extent.

Jennie Dillon from the Gettysburg Area Retail Merchants Association (GARMA) said her organization was opposed to food trucks because they competed with brick and mortar restaurants and took up parking spaces.

“GARMA’s position is number one to support the brick and mortar establishments in the borough and to promote the turnover of customer parking by having all available spaces for the public. We would be saying ‘no.’ We would not be in support of food trucks in the borough,” said Dillon.

Dillon also said food trucks were dangerous. “It’s hazardous for traffic because they are so large,” she said.

When asked, Dillon said GARMA might approve of food trucks if they were in specific locations, for instance if they were parked on a business property.

Businesses that also have a food trucks, such as the Garry Owen Irish Pub, would be allowed a permit to park their truck in front of their business under the proposed ordinance.

Speaking in favor of the food trucks, council member Matt Moon said “I don’t support the recommendations to prohibit [food trucks] from operating on the square or the first block. This is people’s livelihood. I don’t think it’s right to push them out to the fringes. The difference between parking in front of ACNB or two blocks up could be $1000 per day.  These are businesses that operate on razor-thin margins.” said Moon.

The borough said it was trying to determine how to support food trucks and brick and mortar businesses at the same time while respecting the historical character of the borough.

The borough said public comments are welcome on this issue.

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Charles Stangor is Gettysburg Connection's Publisher and Editor in Chief.

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  • Interesting you spoke about the VanGo, especially since it has not been in the town for a year. Food trucks provide yet another option for dining, they are not “competition” to brick and mortar establishments, they are complimentary to them, as every other restaurant is to another, they create greater diversity of choice, provide jobs, pay taxes, parking fees, rental space, as well as opportunity for small businesses to grow into brick and mortar businesses. They should be promoted and encouraged by the community and Boro, as should any businesses in town, not dissuaded.

  • People seem to enjoy the food trucks, including local employees. Sometimes folks want something quick. I don’t see it as a problem. The restaurants do quite well when tourists are in town.

  • I agree with all of the above statements. It’s time for Gettysburg to get with the times. People want variety. Some of us single people don’t want to have to sit alone in a restaurant and take up space. We like choices. We like to see activity in town. We like people to be encouraged to do business in town. I don’t see any downside. Let’s keep the tourists coming to town. People also need options for not taking kids into restaurants. Let’s get some fun into downtown. We need community. We need places where people can see each other and say hello and chat. Smile more. Nothing bad is happening!

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