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Truckers offered parking

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BY LINDELL JOHN KAY
Staff Writer

Thursday, August 16, 2018

The Rocky Mount City Council continues to look for balance between local truckers who want to park at home and a new ordinance banning big rigs from residential properties.

The city announced Wednesday that two businesses have publicly stated that their lots are open for commercial vehicle parking.

The situation arose after the council recieved complaints about truckers causing holes in yards and cracks in neighborhood streets. The council in July adopted an amendment to the city’s Land Development Code defining the maximum size of commercial vehicles and trailers that may be parked on a residential property.

Truckers responded by presenting their side during the public comment period of meetings since July. They said they don't destroy their neighborhoods and need a safe place to park.

Because the city’s new ordinance to prohibit the parking of oversized vehicles or trailers on property in residential zones could make it more difficult for some truckers, the council directed the Department of Development Services to assist local truck drivers by locating nearby lots where large rigs may be parked overnight, said Tameka Kenan-Norman, the city's chief communications and marketing officer.

C.S. Henry at 2440 N. Church St. and UBW Parking at 2550 N. Church St. can accommodate up to 60 large vehicles combined. Both lots allow truck parking for a fee.

The department is continuing to search for additional lots. Moving forward, large commercial vehicles will be required to park in an off-street parking lot that is specifically designed as a parking area or at an existing business that allows the parking of large vehicles. The ordinance goes into effect Oct. 8.

“Hopefully we can find a balance all of us can live with and it won't harm anyone,” Councilman Andre Knight said.

Rocky Mount is not the only city to enact a residential parking ban. Of the 30 most populous municipalities in North Carolina, 21 have ordinances prohibiting commercial vehicles on residential property.

Rocky Mount will soon be home to a CSX trains-to-trucks terminal, which is expected to be a logistics hub. Such an operation could attract more truck drivers to live in the area.

Mayor David Combs said during Monday's council meeting that the council acted because several residents have complained about trucks parked in their neighborhoods.

"We didn't wake up one morning and say 'we need to do this,'" Combs said. "We received a lot of complaints."

The new ordinance bans commercial vehicles and trailers longer than 25 feet or weighing more than 10,000 pounds from parking in residential areas. Fines will be $100 for the first violation, $250 for the second violation and $500 for the third violation and everytime thereafter.

For more information on the ordinance, contact the Department of Development Services at 252-972-1172.

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