By Rick Palsgrove
Groveport City Council may take another look at its recently passed legislation that restricts heavy trucks from parking in the city’s residential areas.
At council’s Aug. 19 committee of the whole meeting, residents Kim Marsee and Tony Gullett questioned the law.
“It’s a hindrance and a hardship on some small business owners. It is wrong and needs to be revisited,” said Marsee, who said she agreed that the trucks should not be allowed to park on the street, but they should be allowed to park on private property, such as in driveways.
Gullett – who is self-employed, has lived in town for 19 years, and has owned a large truck for 15 of those years – said he parks his 14,100 pound commercial truck in his driveway.
“I understand the restriction on parking on the street, but my truck is in my own driveway,” said Gullett.
On July 22, Groveport City Council approved legislation stating commercial vehicles weighing 10,000 pounds or more may not park on residential city streets or in driveways between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. Restricted heavy vehicles may be present when work or deliveries are being done as long as the vehicles are not parked for 12 hours or more.
City officials said the legislation arose because of problems with some large vehicles parking in multiple city neighborhoods. The big trucks block streets causing traffic congestion and making it difficult for emergency vehicles to get through. The weight of the vehicles may damage residential streets and there are also issues of aesthetics.
Councilwoman Jean Ann Hilbert voted against the legislation on July 22 because she feels it creates a hardship for some residents by not allowing them to park their heavy trucks on their own property. She thinks council should reconsider the issue.
“It’s like we’re (council) becoming a homeowners association for our city,” said Hilbert in criticizing the heavy truck parking legislation. “We have to consider our residents’ needs.”
Councilman Scott Lockett suggested council consider amending the legislation to allow situations to be considered on a case-by-case basis and by instituting a permit process for the heavy truck parking.
“We’re (council) willing to listen,” Lockett told Marsee and Gullett.
Groveport Law Director Kevin Shannon told council it could consider amending the legislation with things like Lockett’s suggestions or make it allowable to park the heavy trucks on private property driveways while still restricting them from being parked on the streets.
Council asked Shannon to present a rough draft of an amended version of the heavy truck parking legislation for council to consider at its Aug. 26 meeting, to be held at 6:30 p.m. in the municipal building, 655 Blacklick St.