‘Workable’ decision reached on truck parking in California town

| 4/21/2008

For several months now, truckers in Hesperia, CA, have been in limbo about proposed changes to a parking ordinance that could have prevented them from being able to park their tractors on their own property.

However, many truckers are breathing a little easier following a special public meeting on April 17 where more than 300 people, mainly truckers and RV owners, turned out to protest the revisions. The meeting, originally scheduled at City Hall, was moved to the Hesperia High School cafeteria because of the anticipated crowd. More than 400 people turned out to the city’s Planning Commission meeting in February because of the parking ordinance.

After hearing from 41 people who spoke out against banning trucks from parking on their property and only one speaking out in favor of the ban, the Hesperia City Council voted to continue to allow truckers who own more than a half-acre to park on their property. The council voted to drop the number of trailers property owners could have on their property from three trailers to two trailers.

The City Council did vote to eliminate its two-hour parking provision for trucks. However, it voted to continue its current permit program, which allows truckers to apply for permits to park their trucks in front of their residences for a small fee, if approved by the city’s engineering department. The fee amount hasn’t been decided on yet.

“We feel this is a very workable compromise,” said Tom Harp, deputy director of Development Services in Hesperia. “This was the right decision to be made at this time.”

Harp said there will be second reading on the truck parking ordinance at the City Council’s next meeting on May 6, but said he doesn’t “foresee that any changes will be made at that time.”

Following the second reading, there will be a 30-day window for legal challenges before the ordinance is enforced, Harp said.

OOIDA Life Member Richard Wingeier said he and his wife, Debbie, who are team drivers that live in Hesperia, are relieved by the city’s decision to allow them to continue to park on their property.

“This is good news for us. This is such a relief for us to know we will be able to continue to park our truck on our own property,” he said. “It would have been such a hardship on us if we had to find another secure place to park.”

Some of the other truck ordinance changes in Hesperia include:

  • The definition of a commercial truck was changed from 10,000 pounds to 26,000 pounds, excluding larger pickup trucks;
  • Idle time was lowered from 15 minutes to five minutes to match the state’s air quality standards;
  • All RVs will have to be parked in residential property, rather than public streets, but consistent with state law, RVS can be parked on the street for up to 72 hours for the purpose of loading and unloading the vehicle; and
  • Maximum amount of trucks and trailers that can be parked on any residential property will be three trucks and six trailers on lots at least one and a half acres or larger.

– By Clarissa Kell-Holland, staff writer