Proposed ordinance would ban semis on residential property in town

| 12/4/2007

Truckers who live in Rio Rancho, NM, may want to make sure they are home to attend a City Council meeting on Dec. 12 to discuss a proposed truck parking ordinance, which would prohibit heavy trucks from parking on residential property in the city.

If the ordinance is enacted, truckers in this community of 62,000 would have to either build garages on their property or find other locations to park their trucks.

OOIDA Executive Vice President Todd Spencer said the proposed ordinance in Rio Rancho is “ridiculous.”

“I think any kind of an ordinance that prohibits parking a tractor in your personal driveway is unreasonable,” Spencer said. “Obviously, I think that kind of a standard goes too far – prohibiting you on what you can or can’t park in your own driveway is absurd.”

The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association sent a letter out to its members living in Rio Rancho on Monday, Dec. 3, informing them of the proposed parking restriction and urging truckers to attend the Dec. 12 meeting or contact the mayor and City Council members regarding this issue.

“We need to create awareness and get folks keyed in on this so they can at least be heard,” Spencer said.

If the ordinance is enacted, it would give truckers a six-month grace period to comply with finding another place to park and a year if they are building garages for their trucks.

Rio Rancho District 5 Councilor Larry Naranjo said the cost of the garages could range from $10,000 to $30,000, according to the Rio Rancho Observer.

This same issue was brought up about a year ago in Rio Rancho, but the proposed ordinance failed that time.

District 6 Councilor Marilyn Salzman, who was the co-sponsor on the previous attempt to pass the truck parking ordinance in January 2007, told the Observer she is worried that without a truck ordinance the real estate market will suffer.

Spencer disagrees.

“Clearly this ordinance goes too far,” Spencer said. “Where is the rationale here; where’s the equity and the fairness? Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.”

To read OOIDA’s letter to Rio Rancho truckers, click here.

– By Clarissa Kell-Holland, staff writer