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The planning commission approved permits for a proposed 11-space food cart pod, the first of its kind in Scappoose.

PMG PHOTO: ANNA DEL SAVIO - The property owned by CC Pod LLC was cleared earlier this year to make way for a food truck pod.  A proposed food cart pod in Scappoose received formal approval from the city planning commission Thursday, July 28.

Started by three local businessmen, CC Pod LLC plans to open a food cart pod with indoor and outdoor seating, a taproom and space for 11 food trucks on Southwest Old Portland Road, just feet from U.S. Highway 30 and close to Scappoose High School.

While similar pods exist in places like Portland, Beaverton and Forest Grove, the CC Pod location would be the first food cart pod of its kind in Scappoose.

Planning commissioners unanimously approved the application, with Commissioner Bruce Shoemaker noting he looked forward to a hopeful expansion of the city's food offerings beyond burgers and pizza. COURTESY PHOTO - An aerial image shows the site of the future food cart pod in Scappoose.

Nick Hurliman, an accountant and one of the three owners of CC Pod, said the future tenants aren't lined up yet but there was interest in Mexican, Thai and Indian cuisine.

The pod will be "another good gathering space in the community," Hurliman said.

"As a dad of four, everybody's food choice within the family is not always the same," he said. "To go to a food option place would be pretty awesome for a lot of families."

The pod may host live music and other entertainment. Only a small portion of the indoor seating will be reserved for patrons 21 and over, Hurliman said.

CC Pod owners plan to open next Memorial Day.

"Any sooner would be a bonus and time for a soft opening," Hurliman said.

The city planning department recommended approval of the application.

The terms of the food cart permit allow Scappoose to revoke the permit if there are issues with traffic, noise or operations, according to Scappoose community development director Laurie Oliver Joseph.

City officials did not receive any comments from neighbors regarding the proposed food truck pod, Oliver Joseph said.

This is the first food cart pod application the city has received since amending city code to allow pods in 2019.

The applicants plan to provide 10 bicycle parking spaces, more than the city code requires, but the planning commission granted an exception allowing the pod to have three fewer on-site parking spaces than the 29 that the code would require. A traffic impact study did not find any mitigation would be needed to offset an increase in traffic in the area.

Hurliman and his partners also own a food cart pod in St. Helens behind Oregon Trail Lanes, but that pod isn't developed like Scappoose's will be.

The St. Helens site isn't as developed because the city's code doesn't allow for permanent structures in a food cart pod. Updating St. Helens' code for food trucks and pods is on the city's list of projects, but not for within the next few years, St. Helens associate planner Jenny Dimsho told the Spotlight.

Scappoose changed its code in 2019 to allow food cart pods. Previously, the city only allowed food trucks to stay in a location for 90 days.

Hurliman has served Hawaiian food and shaved ice from a truck for more than a decade, including at 13 Nights on the River and county fairs.

"When people are passionate in those kind of small-scale situations, the food can be pretty darn great. So it's been a passion project of mine for a lot of years," Hurliman said. Potential tenants of the Scappoose pod can contact Hurliman CPA for more information, Hurliman said.

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