Food Trucks

Food Trucks are referred to as "Mobile Food Units" in the State Code.  The city defines a food truck as "a large, wheeled vehicle from which food is sold or served that typically contains cooking facilities where the food is prepared."

Mobile food units may be allowed on private property if a permit is granted by the zoning administrator or public property and city streets if the city manager grants a special event permit.

PRIVATE PROPERTY REGULATIONS

Food trucks are allowed in the following districts:

  • Limited Business Downtown District LB-1 if the food truck if located at least 100 feet from a restaurant.
  • Downtown Business District B-1 if the food truck is located at least 100 feet from a restaurant.
  • Urban Business District B-3.
  • Economic Development District ED and ED-2.
  • For 100 Visitor Center Drive only in the Museum Support District MS.  Food trucks are not allowed in other Museum Support District MS areas.
  • It is not allowed in the Colonial Williamsburg Historic Area CW.
  • If operation is limited to no more than two times a calendar year at any specific residential property in a residential district.

Permit Requirements on Private Property

The city's zoning administrator must approve an administrative permit to operate a food truck on private property in the city.  The following information is needed for the zoning administrator to review and issue a permit:

  • A copy of a valid Williamsburg business license.  The business license must be posted in the vehicle at all times.
  • A valid health permit from the Virginia Health Department stating the food truck meets health department standards.  
  • An approved Williamsburg Fire Department inspection.  The food truck must be re-inspected by the Fire Department annually and must be inspected each day of operation in the city.
  • Provide a valid driver's license for each person who drives the food truck.
  • Provide the current registration for the food truck, current proof of motor vehicle inspection, and insurance for the food truck.
  • Written consent of the owner(s) of the property or properties where the food truck will operate.
  • Food truck application along with the 50.00 application fee.

Once issued other requirements:

  • Removing all trash at the end of each day.
  • Lighting shall not produce light spill onto adjacent properties or into the night sky.
  • Music, if played from the food truck, must not be audible beyond the site's property boundaries or a distance of 100 feet from the food truck, whichever is less.
  • Greywater, fats, oils, grease, or hazardous liquids generated in the food truck operation must be contained in the food truck and disposed of properly off-site.  The release of hazardous materials or liquids into any storm sewer, storm drain, ditch, drainage canal, creek, stream, river, lake, or tidal water or on the ground, sidewalk, street, highway, or into the atmosphere is illegal.  
  • Food trucks shall not obstruct pedestrian or bicycle access or passage, impede traffic or parking lot circulation or create safety or visibility problems for vehicles or pedestrians.  
  • Food trucks shall not be parked in or operated from a public street right-of-way unless the city manager issues a special event permit.
  • Signage is limited to two A-frame six square foot signs.  The signs cannot exceed four feet in height and are positioned within 30 feet of the food truck.  Signs are not permitted on public property or within a public street right-of-way.
  • See the adopted ordinance below for ordinance requirements.

SPECIAL EVENT PERMITS

Contact the City Manager's Office  regarding food truck regulations for special events on city property or city rights-of-ways.  The special event host is responsible for obtaining a special event permit.  The host must list on the special event permit application the location, name of the mobile food unit, name of the business (if different), name of the mobile food unit operator(s), and contact information. Mobile food units are not allowed in the Colonial Williamsburg Historic Area CW, except as permitted by a special event and located on a city street. 

food truck

For more information contact the following:

Business License - Commissioner of the Revenue's Office  (757) 220-6150

Special Event Permit - City Manager's Office  (757) 220-6100

Private Property Mobile Food Unit Application - Planning Department  (757) 220-6130

Fire Inspections - Williamsburg Fire Department  (757) 220-6220