If you’re delivering commercial freight inside the six square miles that makes up the municipality of West Buechel, Ky., you’ll either have a sticker or be stuck with a $25 code violation.
Making recent rounds on trucking social media, posts of an “Application for Unloading License” have raised questions as well as disdain from drivers.
On July 25, a West Buechel code enforcement officer gave driver Randall Hytek a copy of the “Application to Unload” while Hytek was being unloaded at Lowe’s.
Hytek said he asked if he was being cited, but said the officer told him he hadn’t done anything wrong and to just give the notice to his company.
Hytek explained to the officer, as an owner-operator, he was the company but was leased to a motor carrier. He said he was again instructed by the officer to “give it to the company.”
Hytek has delivered to West Buechel multiple times over the past several years.
“I always knew they (the city ordinances) were weird about parking, but no one has ever asked me for an unloading license,” he told Land Line.
A West Buechel City Hall mayor’s clerk confirmed to Land Line the ordinance. The unloading license was described as, “a fee businesses pay for having freight delivered.”
“If Krispy Kreme orders something that comes on a truck, they need an unloading license. The business pays for it once a year, and they’re issued decals for their delivery trucks,” the clerk said. “This isn’t anything new, we’ve had this ordinance since 1996.” The code was revised in 1999 to reflect current language.
The language of ordinance No. 110 02R171 R, Application for Unloading License states:
“To all businesses unloading goods in the City of West Buechel: Any person, firm corporation selling goods of any description within the City of West Buechel for purposes of making a profit, shall first obtain an annual license from the City Clerk by paying the sum of $125.00 (One Hundred Twenty Five Dollars) for the privilege of using the public ways of the City for such purpose. The annual license fee shall be due and payable on the First (1st) of July each year.”
Applicants are instructed to fill out the application and mail in $125 to the city of West Buechel. Applicants will receive their unloading license and sticker after payment is received. Any business required to be licensed is instructed to keep proof of a current license either with the driver or on the truck during all unloading. Applicants can also get as many stickers as they need and are only required one per vehicle.
West Buechel Mayor Rick Richards admitted to Land Line he had never read the ordinance, and only had knowledge of it from “hearing drivers complain about it.”
“I don’t like that truck drivers can’t park overnight here, but I only get to vote on things like this when there’s a tie,” Richards said. “City Council votes on those things.”
Richards said he has directed the local codes enforcement officer to issue the applications “as a courtesy notice” instead of citing truckers for parking violations. He referred further clarification on the ordinance to City Attorney Casey McCall.
McCall’s office has not returned calls from Land Line as of publication time.
Receiving clerks and managers from three large retail chains within the city limits appear unaware of the need for an unloading license. Hytek said the company he is leased to did not know anything about the license but was trying to look into it.
Lowe’s, Wal-Mart, Target and Kroger – which have businesses inside West Buechel city limits – were contacted by Land Line. As of publication time, only Target has responded.
Jenna Reck, from Target Corporate Communications, said a “very brief” poll of their receiving offices reports no knowledge of the license. Reck is planning to review the application and follow up on the situation.
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