By Rick Palsgrove
Groveport City Council may have come up with a solution to the long discussed problem of heavy trucks that park in the town’s residential areas.
A few weeks ago, Mayor Lance Westcamp appointed a committee consisting of council members Shawn Cleary and Ed Dildine as well as Groveport Police Capt. Kurt Blevins and Police Sgt. Casey Adams to conduct research about how to handle the problem.
The current city law prohibits trucks, tractors, or trailers with an empty gross vehicle weight of 2.5 tons (5,000 pounds) from parking in residential areas after 6 p.m or before 7 a.m., except for deliveries of goods and materials. The restriction makes no distinction between parking such vehicles on the street or driveway, it just reads “residential areas.”
Groveport Law Director Kevin Shannon said the proposed revision to the law arose because of problems with some large vehicles parking in multiple city neighborhoods. He said the big trucks block the streets causing traffic congestion and making it difficult for emergency vehicles to get through.
Shannon said the current law, as it is currently written, is causing enforcement problems because there are SUVs, some pick-up trucks, and vehicles that are over the weight limit.
Council is considering legislation that states commercial vehicles weighing 10,000 pounds or more may not park on residential city streets 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. Buses or commercial vehicles while conveying passengers would be permitted.
According to the legislation, a first violation would be a minor misdemeanor, the second violation within a year would be a fourth degree misdemeanor, and each following violation within a year of the first offense would be a third degree misdemeanor.
Council will discuss the issue at its July 15 committee of the whole meeting at 5:30 p.m. in the municipal building, 655 Blacklick St., and could vote on it on July 22.
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Council is also considering legislation to:
•Grant a requested zoning variance for 341 Main St., currently zoned residential, to allow for an insurance office in the building. The request also includes insurance office signage, six parking spaces behind the building for employees and customers, and the use of existing landscaping as a buffer to meet the required city codes.
•Amend the zoning map for about 24.03 acres located west of South Hamilton Road and north of Lowery Court and owned by Lowery Asset Management LP from suburban residential to select commercial planned district. The zoning application notes the proposed rezoning would allow for commercial uses similar to or compatible with the existing development to the south.