Food truck park, The Pit facing multiple violations with city of Tucson

KOLD News at 10 p.m. on Saturdays
Published: Jul. 31, 2022 at 9:47 AM MST
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TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) - A Tucson hot spot to grab a bite is at risk.

This week, multiple violations were reported to the city of Tucson at The Pit.

When the owners were first told about these violations, they thought they were going to be shut down, but The Pit is still open and that is because they were granted a stay while they work out some of these issues.

“The whole time, we’ve tried to do everything the right way and get every permit. If somewhere along the way, someone said you need to have this permit, or this variance, or something else, we happily would’ve gotten it. but no one along the way said that we don’t have everything that we need to operate,” said co-owner Chris Frisch.

This week, someone filed a complaint with the city about code violations at The Pit. When the owners found out, they panicked. Currently, six full-time food trucks and anywhere from 30-50 part-time food trucks operate out of The Pit. Many of them rely on the crowds to keep their business alive.

“Their livelihood is based on what they can serve here at the pit. if we went away that’s six businesses and other small businesses that would struggle and perhaps go under,” said Frisch.

The Pit is not just a gathering place for the food trucks. Regulars, Kimberly and Dave Seelund said it has become a big part of the area and the community.

“Why somebody wants to go against it, I don’t understand. It makes people happy. It’s not just helping them. It’s helping our community itself and all of these local vendors.”

The city of Tucson said they understand how important The Pit is to the community, so they are working with the owners to fix the violations, which includes having the food trucks 100-feet apart and having peddlers’ licenses.

“Right now, The Pit is not meeting those requirements for peddlers, there’s only actually one licensed peddler that we’re aware of right now on the property,” said zoning administrator Elisa Hamblin.

The owners have also spent thousands to fix up the place and add things like electricity and seating. The city says that is also a violation.

“The city would just like to see them get permitted properly for safety reasons and to be in compliance with what changes have been made to the site and get that properly reviewed,” said Hamblin.

Because there is nothing else similar to The Pit in Tucson, the owners are hoping to get a special exemption.

Right now, there is a petition going around for people to show their support. The owners plan to show it the city as they work to resolve the violations.

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