Las Vegas proposes amendment that can expand truck parking ban

By Tyson Fisher, Land Line staff writer | 2/9/2017

Las Vegas is proposing an ordinance that will expand an already existing residential parking ban for truckers. The Owner-Operator Independent Drivers Association recently submitted comments urging the city to reconsider the amendment.

Although commercial vehicles have been banned from residential areas, the proposed ordinance will expand parking restrictions to “any street adjacent to a residence district, public school or public park.” If the amendment is passed, this will include any area connected to a street in which the territories bordering that street at a distance of 300 feet or more are mainly residential.

In OOIDA’s letter to the city, Director of State Legislative Affairs Mike Matousek encourages city officials to release information revealing the motivation behind the proposed amendment. Matousek states that information should be known before signing off on the amendment, not after.

It can only be presumed at this point that resident complaints led to the proposal, the letter says. Matousek told Land Line if that were the case, then the city should consider restrictions in certain areas rather than pass an all-encompassing ban.

With little information available, Matousek informed city officials that it is difficult for anyone to submit meaningful comments without knowing the full scope of the ban. It is possible that non-residential areas where trucks can currently park will be affected by the amended ordinance if passed.

Matousek also encouraged the city to consider alternative options that can benefit everyone. Citing examples seen in Elmira, N.Y., and Weed, Calif., Matousek explained that there are plenty of case studies proving that “commercial trucks and local communities can coexist.”

Las Vegas Deputy City Attorney Val Steed told Land Line the amendment attempts to end confusion as to what is considered a residential area.

“The current ordinance talks about a ‘residential street,’” Steed said. “That term isn’t defined and probably has led people to wonder what it means for a street to be residential. Does it mean residences on one side only, does it mean single-family residences or does it mean things like multi-family apartment-type dwellings?”

When asked what exactly the 300-foot distance in the amendment means, Steed acknowledged that the language was adopted from state law and that nobody is really clear what it means as there are no case studies challenging the definition. Steed explained that smoothing out those details is something to consider before moving forward.

“We may have to do some refinement there, because admittedly nobody knows what it means, because the state law was adopted back in the ‘60s,” Steed said.

The proposal is still in the early stages and must undergo an impact report before moving to the city council’s agenda.

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