Zoners have mixed feelings about food trucks, trailers at brewery

Wouldn’t a food truck — or maybe a food trailer — go nicely with a brew pub? But what about the rules, the regulations?

Planning and Zoning Commissioners offered a wide range of thoughts in a pre-submission concept discussion on allowing a food truck as an accessory use at the new Nod Hill Brewery on Route 7 in Branchville.

“The applicant doesn’t want to turn his building into a restaurant,” Attorney Bob Jewell said, explaining his client’s interest in having a food truck park there.

“The applicant would have to convince the commission this is just for people in the brewery,” said zoning enforcement officer Richard Baldelli. “I can’t drive down Route 7 and buy a hamburger.”

There’s also the Board of Selectmen’s policy concerning food trucks which would have to be accommodated, Jewell said, and discussion wandered into the notion of trailers and converted cargo containers as providing food services.

Some commissioners were doubtful; others were quite positive.

“It should be up to code,” said Commissioner Bob Cascella. “I don’t want to get into mobile homes or get into any of that.”

Commissioner Joe Fossi said he’d seen places where food trucks congregate. “It’s a fun venue,” he said. But he added: “It is a bit of slippery slope.”

“I could support your client’s application to buy some kind of a cargo box and use it as food retail,” said Commissioner Charles Robbins.

“Food truck festivals are popular all over the country,” said Commission Chairwoman Rebecca Mucchetti.

“Sounds like we’re open to the idea,” Commissioner John Katz told Jewell, “but you’ve got a lot of homework to do.”