One of the very few downsides of the Cape Charles Public Beach is the lack of food and drink vendors that are within easy walking distance. The Planning Commission has attempted to address this with a proposed draft text amendment to Article III Section 3.15.B limited access for commercial activity in the Open Space District (east (landward) of the toe of the dune to the Boardwalk to south of the pavilion to the fishing pier). The amendment will allow “Certain limited refreshment and beach related commercial activity”. What is being proposed is a section where vendors can set up small ‘carts’ with a limited footprint to sell food and drink, as well as rentals, such as kayaks, umbrellas and chairs. Light retail (hats, shirts, etc.) will also be allowed. The proposed commercial hours will be noon to six, and the vendor will be required to be there (or risk losing the spot). Commercial activity shall be restricted to May 1st through September 15th. Signage is required to be temporary such as banners and flags, with a maximum of six (6) square feet in area.
According to the draft, “No commercial activity will be conducted from motor vehicles and shall exclude the use of external generators and electronic amplification.” This will eliminate actual food trucks or gourmet wagons such as JUM JUM or the Hashi Truck, limiting sale items to what most people already carry themselves in a cooler.
The council has directed staff to study the Farmer’s Market model, as far as how they determine who is allowed to lease a spot on their grounds.