UPDATE: The scheduled review date by the Planning and Zoning Board is subject to change and interested parties should follow the board agenda for any updates.
The owners of A La Cart (Facebook | Website) are trying to open a second location of their popular craft beer bar/food truck park, with their eyes set on a parcel located at 2207 E Michigan Street [GMap] just across the street from the Juvenile Justice Center and just east of Johnny’s Fillin’ Station.
A La Cart opened in the Milk District in November 2018 featuring a rotating series of resident food trucks like SwedeDish, PokeKai, and Smoke and Donuts, centered around a family-friendly outdoor courtyard with movable furniture and umbrella-equipped picnic tables. They feature regular outdoor movies and events but always close by 11 p.m. at the latest on Fridays and Saturdays and 10 p.m. every other day of the week.
The owners, Dustin and April Williams, plan to make the new location similar to the first just slightly bigger, given the nature of the site they are looking at, with a central bar serving craft beers, wine, and cider, accompanied by a curated list of resident food truck operators around a central courtyard, but the county has been pushing back – notably because they don’t have very progressive zoning policies when it comes to food trucks and food truck parks.
The Williamses have been working with the county to host a series of community meetings with residents and business owners adjacent to the project and a hearing is scheduled for the upcoming Orange County Planning and Zoning Approval Meeting at 9 a.m. Thursday, October 21. But according to county personnel, the project is flagged by staff to be denied – though the ultimate decision is up to the Board of County Commissioners.
“Unlike its current location near E. Colonial Drive, the proposed “A La Cart” location at 2207 E. Michigan Street is in close proximity to offices and single-family homes. Staff’s concern is of adverse impacts the permanent outdoor use would have on the surrounding area. In our two community meetings, attendees expressed concern with noise, parking, and compatibility. There were also attendees that expressed support of the proposal. However, the use requires the zoning of C-2 (General Commercial District) which is discouraged adjacent to single-family residential zoning districts. Although staff is generally supportive of uses that help to create vibrant and sustainable neighborhoods, in this particular case the concerns of compatibility resulted in our recommendation for denial of the request. Ultimately, it will be up to the Board of County Commissioners to deny or approve the request.“– ORANGE COUNTY PLANNING DIVISION
We’ve reached out to Commissioner Uribe, Commissioner for County District 3, for a quote on the project but had not heard back at the time of this post.