One of the things that I worked on while I was a council member that never made it over the finish line was a revision of our ordinance around parking in residential neighborhoods. I get frequent complaints from people who are upset about large vehicles parked on the streets, as well as houses that appear to be operating as businesses with multiple landscaping vehicles with trailers coming and going constantly.
The council dealt with this the first time in November, 2018. For whatever reason, the issue never came back before the council, and we are still dealing with complaints about on-street parking and issues with trying to define what a “commercial” vehicle is. Last night, I brought this item back up before the current council, so we can get this issue resolved.
The proposal is fairly simple. There are two classes of vehicles that would be prohibited from parking on the streets (identified as “Class 1” and “Class 2”. Depending on what council decides, some number of “Class 2” vehicles may park in a driveway.
Class 1 vehicles include: Heavy construction equipment, motorized construction equipment, ambulances, box trucks, boom lifts, dump trucks, flatbed trucks, forklifts, platform lifts, scissor lifts, tow trucks, any vehicle with a tractor or semi-tractor trailer attached to it, trailers with 2 or more axles, and trailers greater than 16 feet in length. None of these would be allowed to park on streets or driveways unless they were actively working on something (an ambulance responding to a 911 call, for example).
Class 2 vehicles include: Trailers less than or equal to 16 feet of length and no more than 1 axle, and vehicles with exterior equipment storage. Right now the ordinance states that these can be parked in driveways, but it’s up to the council to decide whether they want to limit the number.
Our current rules are hard to enforce and somewhat convoluted, because they ask code compliance to determine whether a vehicle is being used for a business or not – and the truth is that we should just be applying the same rules to everyone regardless of whether the vehicle is used for a business.
At the end of the process of crafting this law, I’m hopeful that some of the issues with huge vehicles making it difficult to navigate narrow residential streets will be resolved. I also am hopeful that we’ll give code enforcement something that they can use to make clearer determinations of what’s allowed or what’s not allowed.