The issue: Trucks are parked where they aren’t wanted
Over the last few board meetings, Cornelius commissioners have heard from staff that commercial vehicles have been parking on private property reportedly affecting local businesses, and cars with boats or trailers have been parking on public streets taking up multiple spaces. Both have led to complaints from residents who sought advice from town staff. Concerns include not liking the look for the town, safety and damage to private roads. In certain places signs have been posted not to park there, and tractor-trailers have reportedly run over the signs. Deputy Town Manager and Planning Director Wayne Herron said at a September pre-meeting discussion on the topic that there was little the town could do because the planning department couldn’t enforce it with the rules the town had. The way something could be done was to change the rules on what dimensions of vehicles are allowed to park in certain areas.
What happened: Commissioners adopted rule changes
The board agreed to change the rules regarding what size vehicles can park in certain areas. Chapter 3 of the Land Development Code has been changed regarding general parking for commercial vehicles. The general parking rule now states commercial vehicles used primarily for commercial purposes and with more than two axles are prohibited from parking in residential districts, with an added provision that states “and commercial districts, unless in a designated loading area or approved storage area.” An amendment was also made to the Code of Ordinances to change the size of vehicles not allowed to park on public streets. They include private vehicles whose overall dimensions, including an attached trailer, are more than 80 inches in width, 20 feet in length or 8 feet in height. Not all commissioners were on board with all of the changes. Commissioner Kurt Naas called the motion of stopping commercial parking in commercial areas “killing a butterfly with a sledgehammer” and noted, “if people were parking Ferraris instead of trucks we wouldn’t be having this discussion.”
What it means: Enforcement is now allowed
Temporary parking of delivery trucks, moving vans and similar vehicles delivering goods and services are excluded from the change in the General Provisions chapter of the Land Development Code. Tractor-trailers parking in the approved areas behind commercial buildings or near loading docks must still do that with permission of the property owner, not the town. Vehicles parking where they are not allowed will cause violations to go to the property owners. On public streets, vehicles that don’t meet the size dimensions can only be parked in the same spot for 24 hours or less. Herron noted, to the agreement of other commissioners, that the town doesn’t have a lot of time to go out and look for violators. The aim is to go after the ones that are truly a nuisance and are leading to complaints.