Where should commercial vehicles park? Victoria council debates

Earlier this year, the Victoria Town Council enacted a new parking ordinance stating commercial vehicles could no longer park in residential areas. But it left a gray area of sorts, one the group is going to revisit.

According to the current ordinance, no person shall park any commercial vehicle on or alongside any road, highway, street, or alley within or adjacent to any residential district within the town.

According to town documents, a commercial vehicle is denied as a single vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more, a combination of vehicles with a gross combination weight rating of 26,001 pounds or more if the vehicle(s) being towed weights more than 10,000 pounds and Any size vehicle that transports hazardous materials and that requires federal placarding.

The ordinance also did not clarify any fines or penalties if citizens were found to be doing such.

According to Town Manager Rodney Newton, the model verbiage used for the ordinance was geared more toward parking in and along streets and left a gray area to interpret parking anywhere else in a residential zone.

According to the ordinance, which town council passed unanimously during its February meeting, the restrictions are needed to reduce and prevent congestion and hazardous traffic conditions in residential areas to protect those areas from polluted air, excessive noise and other adverse environmental impacts of commercial vehicle commuting.

After meeting with Town Attorney Robert Clement, Newton said the ordinance wording will be changed to Restricted Areas instead of Restricted Streets whereby it shall be unlawful to park a commercial vehicle in any residential zone in the Town of Victoria.

Also, section 5 of the ordinance was added, stating a penalty for any person found guilty of violating any of the provisions of this article shall be deemed a class IV misdemeanor as defined in sections 1-18. Each 24-hour period shall be deemed a separate offense.

There are some exceptions to the ordinance.

This rule does not apply to motor vehicles, semitrailers, or trailers that are Being actively loaded or unloaded, used by persons issued permits from the chief of police for limited periods, or used by persons to whom the town has extended permission to perform work on and around streets.

In addition, motor vehicles or trailers that are parked along a primarily residential or mixed residential-commercial block while the owner, operator, or driver is engaged in the actual performance of contractual work at a nearby property and buses or vans operated by school systems and used to transport school-age children to and from school activities are also exempt.

A public hearing on the revisions and additions made to the Commercial Vehicle Parking Ordinance will be held at the September Victoria council meeting.