California town moves forward with plan to restrict truck parking

| 1/24/2008

Truck drivers living in Hesperia, CA, banded together on Wednesday, Jan. 23, to fight proposed changes to the city’s municipal code regarding truck parking in residential areas.

Once considered a “truck-friendly” community, the Hesperia Community Development Advisory Committee recently unveiled a plan to revise nine provisions in the city’s truck parking code.

Hesperia resident Stormy Deharo told Land Line she attended the meeting this week, along with about 10 other truck drivers. She spoke on behalf of her husband, Carlos, who is an owner-operator. He is currently in Canada and could not make it back in time to speak at the meeting.

“I told them if they do this, they are going to be taking away our livelihoods,” she told Land Line. “I told them they were going to have to explain it to my daughter why she may have to move, leave her friends and change schools based on what her dad does for a living.”

After Thursday’s meeting, the committee recommended that seven of the nine proposed revisions to restrict truck parking in residential areas be “moved on” to the city’s Planning Department, according to Tina Fouco, senior office assistant for the Hesperia Community Development office.

“For the most part the committee agreed with most of the changes that staff was proposing,” Fouco said.

Deharo said the committee decided that truckers who currently own half an acre or more would be grandfathered in, if they obtained permits. Deharo said someone from the city would come out and look at the property before issuing a permit. In the future, truckers who move in to Hesperia will have to have an acre or more to park one truck, which would have to be registered in their name.

Another proposed revision, which would have banned truckers from parking their trucks on lots adjacent to their residences, was also voted down.

Fouco said there were “quite a few drivers” that attended the meeting to speak on the proposed revisions, but that residents in favor of restricting truck parking also showed up in force.

“We had a wide range of people who attended the meeting,” Fouco said. “We had some truckers who had lived in the city for 30 years who attended. We also had those who were there voicing their opinion that, yes, trucks in residential areas are a nuisance.”

Currently, the city allows trucks to park free on public streets for two hours. However, that could change if the committee’s recommendation to eliminate the two-hour parking provision is approved.

Another proposed change would remove the existing provision that allows trucks to park on public streets if they have permits from the city.

Other proposed changes include a revision to the city’s residential truck parking code, which currently allows truckers to park their rigs in front of their homes. The committee is recommending this be changed so that truckers could only park their rigs in side or rear yards.

Another proposed revision would be that truckers would not be allowed to work on their trucks while they are parked at their residences. Deharo said she tried to explain to the committee how this hurts truckers just trying to earn a living.

According to Fouco, the committee’s next step will be to send the proposed revisions to the city’s Planning Department.

Deharo said the date of city’s Planning Department meeting to address the truck parking code changes will be at 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 28.

– By Clarissa Kell-Holland, staff writer