Truckers opposed to truck parking ban in Rio Rancho fight back

| 12/14/2007

Rio Rancho, NM, resident and gravel hauler Toby Padilla said he views Wednesday night’s City Council meeting as a small win for truckers who live in city limits and park their rigs on their residential property.

The Rio Rancho City Council voted Dec. 12 to amend language in the first reading of a proposed truck parking ordinance that originally would have forced truckers to either build garages on their property or find other locations to park their trucks.

The amendment approved by the City Council struck a compromise that allows the possibilities of allowing truckers to park their rigs behind their houses if there is room, building walls or using landscaping to hide their trucks.

Rio Rancho City Clerk Roman Montoya said a second reading on the truck parking ordinance will be presented to the council at its next meeting on Jan. 9, 2008.

Padilla and several other Rio Rancho truckers turned out Wednesday to speak on the proposed truck parking ordinance.

He told Land Line on Thursday, Dec. 13, that he plans to build a wall with vegetation, including tall trees, to hide his truck, which he said could cost him approximately $6,000, but he said he is OK with the expense as long as he’s allowed to park his truck on his property.

“Even though this is adding a cost to homeowners, at least I can park my truck on my own property and don’t have to build a garage on my property that looks like an airport hanger,” Padilla said.

Jean Montoya, who has spearheaded the latest effort to oppose the truck parking ban in Rio Rancho, told City Council members at the meeting that she and her husband, Jose, an OOIDA member, simply can’t afford to construct a garage to hide his truck on their property.

She said she received one bid for $32,350 to build a garage, which she said would cost them around $2,695 per month over a 12-month period.

Montoya said some truckers won’t be able to comply with the proposed ordinance because they don’t have yards that would allow for their rigs to be parked behind their homes.

“I feel like the truckers compromised and gave 100 percent to finding a workable solution, but I don’t know if we really won or not – some truckers just aren’t going to have the yards to park their trucks in,” she said.

One solution to the truck parking ordinance proposed by the City Council was to have truckers park their rigs on a secure parking lot, although none exist in the city of Rio Rancho.

One speaker said she checked with truck stops in Albuquerque about the possibility of truckers leaving their rigs unattended overnight and was told that unattended trucks would be towed.

The City Council didn’t offer local truckers options for parking elsewhere.

– By Clarissa Kell-Holland, staff writer