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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

UPDATE: Board Gives FW Food Park the OK!


"YES!" Chris Kruger shouted from his seat in the Commercial Board of Adjustment meeting Wednesday morning.

After an intense hour-long debate Aug. 3 at Fort Worth's City Hall, and months of pushing through red tape, the board gave 7 out of 9 votes (the minimum required) in favor of Fort Worth's first food park.

But not without hesitation.

After applicant Chris Kruger made his case,  a long series of concerns verbalized by the opposing side and the Board made things uneasy.

Questions like:Where are people going to park? Should a park be set up in a chemical-heavy industrial neighborhood where large trucks move to and fro? Will the traffic disrupt the existing businesses? Is it safe for kids to be roaming the streets in this area? The three people opposing the food park all represented manufacturing companies in the area.

"My first reaction was, 'what a neat concept.' My second reaction was, 'where is everyone going to park?'" M&M's manufacturing representative said.

Kruger had three minutes to respond to these grievances. He said children will be in the park with their parents. A sandbox sketched into the plans should also keep them busy.

"We have parks in Fort Worth next to major streets such as University Boulevard and there's not a rash of children running out in the street," Kruger said.

He has secured about eight parking spaces in the lot just west of his food park and plans to secure more. Those streets are vacant most of the time, so if people do wish to park on the street it shouldn't be a problem.

(When I was working out at the CrossFit gym next door we ran up and down Weisenberger Street because it was mostly vacant except for the occasional delivery truck. I would be more concerned if this was on 7th because of the crazy traffic.)

After the hour-long ping pong match the board decided to approve the variance limited to a period of two years with several amendments. If Kruger continues to secure more parking, he can continue to operate indefinitely. He will operate between 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and after 5 p.m. on weekdays and is open for business all day on weekends.

Fort Worth will now get its gourmet food park this fall. Contact Chris at fwfoodpark@gmail.com to get your food truck signed up.