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Aug 13, 2019 5:11 PMPublication: The Southampton Press

Southampton Town Board Rejects Food Trucks At Farmstands, Though Not Unanimously

Southampton Town Board member Christine Scalera and Julie Lofstad voted in favor of allowing farmstands to have food trucks operate on the property, though the Town Supervisor and other two board members voted against the measure. GREG WEHNER
Aug 14, 2019 11:57 AM

Southampton Town Board members, in a 3-2 vote, shot down legislation on Tuesday that would have permitted food trucks to set up at a handful of farm stands in the town, in exchange for using local produce.

Town Board member Christine Scalera proposed the legislation in May after Amy Halsey-Cohn, the owner of The Milk Pail in Water Mill, approached her and asked how they could have a food truck located at their farm stand as a way to boost and enhance their business.

When it came to a vote, Ms. Scalera and Town Board member Julie Lofstad voted in favor of the measure, but Town Supervisor Jay Schneiderman and Town Board members John Bouvier and Tommy John Schiavoni voted against it — though there was conversation about revisiting the issue of food trucks before next summer.

A mechanism to allow food trucks at farm stands does not currently exist in the town code, so Assistant Town Attorney Kathryn Garvin drafted legislation that would allow third-party vendors to operate food trucks at the stands. The legislation also allowed only pre-existing farm stands to have the food trucks as an accessory use.

According to Ms. Garvin, the legislation would have applied to only a handful of farm stands.

“The whole point of this is to allow a third party to come on and operate a food truck,” Ms. Garvin said during a public hearing on Tuesday.

Through the public hearing process, farmers, business owners and members of the community voiced opinions, many against the measure.

The result was that the legislation was rewritten to require the food truck to be attached to the farm or to a local restaurant, and for 80 percent of the food sold from the trucks to come from the farm.

David Falkowski, the owner of Open Minded Organics on Butter Lane in Bridgehampton, asked Town Board members to take their time with the legislation, because accounting for the 80 percent would be difficult. At different times throughout the year, he explained, certain crops grow better than others, and in May, he may be able to provide only lettuce.

Mr. Schneiderman said the legislation should really be about food trucks and where they can and cannot go, and that the revisions to the code did not really belong with the farm stand portion of the code.

He also said he could not support the allowance of food trucks, because they change the aesthetics of the area, the town cannot control what the trucks look like, and they may impact residential areas, among other reasons.

Ms. Scalera told Mr. Schneiderman on Tuesday it was not about food trucks and that it belonged in the farm stand portion of the code because it supported farming.

All along, Ms. Scalera has supported the measure because it helps the farmer, she said. When she forced a vote on the legislation on Tuesday, she acknowledged that she did not think she had the support of the board but hoped the conversation would continue.

Mr. Bouvier said everyone agreed that the board should help out the farmers, and food trucks may be the solution. He added that there may be another way to get farm stands to have food trucks, and urged the other board members to table the resolution and figure it out.

Mr. Schiavoni said his biggest drawback with the resolution was that it allowed a third-party accessory use, which he was against.

“We need to support the farmer however we can,” Ms. Lofstad said. “As a farmer of the sea, I’m in the same boat.” She went on to say she supported Ms. Scalera’s proposed legislation, and if it were to be rejected, she hoped the conversation would continue.

Just before the vote, Mr. Schneiderman said the intent of the legislation was good. He also said he wants to sit down with Ms. Halsey to come up with another way that may work, before next summer.

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So now we have grocery stores in residential neighborhoods.
Oops…I meant “Farm Stands”…selling milk, pita chips and guacamole (from all those locally grown avocados).
The newest one opened on Head of Pond Rd—with the entry strategically placed along a blind curve.

I know—let’s now open Deli’s in residential neighborhoods! Why travel into town for lunch, when you can pull in and line up for hot and cold take out? Especially convenient ...more
By aging hipster (201), Southampton on Aug 14, 19 7:59 AM
1 member liked this comment
You sound fun
By johnj (1024), Westhampton on Aug 14, 19 9:08 AM
1 member liked this comment
no farms no food
By toes in the water (884), southampton on Aug 14, 19 8:15 AM
3 members liked this comment
I was at a few meeting where this was discussed. It was like "who's on first" I really don't understand how this Board and Administration operates. The facts and law are "fluid" to fit what they want to do. Is this the right decision? Who knows? Really, who knows? We need leadership that whether or not we agree with their decision, can substantiate their decision with the relevant facts and law.
By G.A.Lombardi (575), Hampton Bays on Aug 14, 19 8:33 AM
Although food trucks are trendy and yummy they leave their smelly pollution belching engines (or generators) running the entire time they're operating. East End air quality during the summer has become awful in many locations : (
By Aeshtron (431), Southampton on Aug 14, 19 10:10 AM
2 members liked this comment
So now local people and working people who do not want to be part of the crowds in the villages and want to eat convenient and fairly priced food are shut out ....And, what about the local people who are working there? Get with it people, in so many other places food trucks and trailers are thriving and providing some of the best food...The fact that someone came up with a good idea that promotes two local businesses at the same time in the same place should be perceived as a great thing, instead ...more
By laa71 (8), SAG HARBOR on Aug 14, 19 12:29 PM
This isn't about food trucks.

This is about operating businesses, especially high traffic businesses, in a residential zone.

You wan't me to open an auto repair business in my backyard next to your house?

Thought so...
By aging hipster (201), Southampton on Aug 15, 19 9:09 AM
sure I need reasonable priced auto repair... when are you opeing
By J. Totta (106), Sag Harbor on Aug 15, 19 11:27 AM
1 member liked this comment
so stores that "pop up" for the summer that no locals would ever shop in are fine but a food trucks are not? local biz bad-big money good. i get it
By WilliamColledge (3), southampton on Aug 14, 19 4:33 PM
2 members liked this comment
AMAZING AMAZING!!!!outside people coming to make money here is FINE....BUT local trying to survive and selling LOCAL products are NOT????? We MUST vote some of those politicians OUT OUT OUT!!!!! We really need a change BIG change at Town Hall!!!! I do not care about the party...lets get the right people elected!!!
By Mate (55), Southampton on Aug 14, 19 7:05 PM
2 members liked this comment
AMAZING AMAZING!!!!outside people coming to make money here is FINE....BUT local trying to survive and selling LOCAL products are NOT????? We MUST vote some of those politicians OUT OUT OUT!!!!! We really need a change BIG change at Town Hall!!!! I do not care about the party...lets get the right people elected!!!
By Mate (55), Southampton on Aug 14, 19 7:05 PM
Jay must not have a buddy who owns a food truck or doesn't appease his developer buddies
By watchoutnow968 (56), Southampton on Aug 14, 19 8:48 PM
If the town is not going to allow this sort of thing than they need to take a hard look at rezoning or change of use proposals from business people looking to create something. Main street rent prices are never going to allow small business to start up. Its an absolute hassle to access any of our villages . I think anyone who lives out here can agree we have to time our departures carefully to not get caught in a trade parade or general traffic in the summer months. In my opinion these food trucks ...more
By SHD management (13), on Aug 15, 19 8:18 AM
So I get to set up the food truck in my driveway next to your house?

Got it.
By aging hipster (201), Southampton on Aug 15, 19 9:06 AM
1 member liked this comment
sounds like a plan where do you live?????
By J. Totta (106), Sag Harbor on Aug 15, 19 11:27 AM
1 member liked this comment
Hence why TOS has the anti-business reputation that it has. What are you talking about, 20 days? It could have been done on a trial basis or with some stipulations like every other successful business community does. The same people who opposed it would be first in line if the Food Truck was good and sold something they wanted. Typical , small town, ignorant thinking.
By The Real World (368), southampton on Aug 15, 19 12:34 PM
1 member liked this comment
the town should do everything in there power to support local farmers and businesses, the people who already pay there tax’s to the town,no let’s bring more outsiders to set up shop for a season at best,hats off to christine and julie for voting yes to the farmers and voting no to out of towers who want to make this place look like nyc.
By taxpayer1 (72), Southampton on Aug 15, 19 3:37 PM
Not following your argument?

The food trucks are the "outsiders" who roll in, pick up cash, and roll out at days end.

The deli's who pay taxes are the local businesses.
By aging hipster (201), Southampton on Aug 16, 19 10:31 AM
1 member liked this comment
The issue here at hand are particular food trucks (trailers) setting up shop at local farm stands, who happen to be very local owners.
Where are all of these other food trucks people are up in arms about, I'd like to try them...
By laa71 (8), SAG HARBOR on Aug 16, 19 12:08 PM
1 member liked this comment
there a second food truck parked in butter la at a local farm stand that is family owned and run and all live in bridgehampton and some volunteer in our local fire departments, they do not drop by to take money out of southampton town unlike the bike share program some of the town board members voted for.
By taxpayer1 (72), Southampton on Aug 16, 19 5:08 PM
1 member liked this comment
Christine Scalera for supervisor.
By bird (829), Sag Harbor on Aug 21, 19 10:04 AM