Marion council offers ordinance on truck parking

It’s been a year in the making, but an ordinance regulating truck parking in residential neighborhoods is ready for public input, according to information presented at Monday’s Marion City Council meeting.

Keith Collett, the city’s attorney, drafted the ordinance to address the issue of semi tractor trailers parking on private property.

“The city already has a rule in place that no truck or trailer can park on private property for more than a 45-minute period,” he said.

Added to that, Collett said, is that no truck can have its engine or refrigeration unit motor running for more than 45 minutes either on any street.

“It seems inconsistent,” he said, “but if a truck is stopped for unloading, it can be allowed 90 minutes in any place in the city.”

Also included in the rules, is a general ban on parking trailers or tractors in residential areas without permits.

The new ordinance further stated that granting a permit would be at the discretion of the city’s street superintendent and, if denied, the city council would be the next step.

Collett suggested the council not act on the proposed ordinance at its meeting, but rather wait until the June 11 meeting.

This, he said, would allow those affected to come forward and discuss the matter at a council meeting.

“They (those concerned) will want to be heard,” Collett said, “and they should be heard.”

Mayor Mary Olson asked Collett if he had done any research into fees or permits in other towns.

“I have not,” he said, suggesting the council consider in its resolution to modify annually, if necessary.

City Administrator Doug Kjellin said it would be his recommendation to keep the fee as nominal as possible.

“This is not a punitive fee,” he said. “I think $5 or $10.”

Olson also questioned the language in the first requirement dealing with crossing any city improvements.

Collett said he interpreted that to mean utility lines while Kjellin expounded by noting sidewalks too.

“Would you want to put that in there?” Olson asked.

Kjellin said he believed the ordinance language was good and should be broad in its interpretation.

The following requirements were outlined in the ordinance when deciding whether a permit could be issued:

• The truck or trailer may be parked only on private property and access to the parking area must not cross any city improvements that could sustain damage by heavy vehicles.

• The street superintendent will consider the gross vehicle weight of the truck or trailer and the streets used to gain access to the parking area to determine if the pavement on those access streets can bear the weight.

• The property must have electricity available if truck parking is sought.

• The owner or operator must present an application to the superintendent, containing written consent of 100 percent of the owners of residential property lying within 200 feet of the parking area.

• The permit issued expires after two years and a new application must be made.

• Only one truck/trailer is allowed per permit and the truck or trailer must be owned or operated primarily by the owner or occupant of the premises where the parking is sought.

• A permit may be approved for a truck and trailer or only for a truck. The council directed Kjellin to make sure the ordinance and public forum were included in the May 29 agenda.

It was also determined that the council would not limit the public forum time to three minutes on this issue.

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