The issue of whether or not semitrucks should be allowed to park in residential areas keeps on rolling on at Spokane Valley City Council meetings.
On Tuesday, the council did not take any public testimony – it was a study session only – but members have already gotten an earful from constituents who say they are sick of the rumble of semis starting up at all hours of the day and night. The trucks are also smelly, block sightlines for other cars and are generally an eyesore, say others.
After months of e-mails and a parade of complainants at the council podium, the council decided it would take up the issue next at its Oct. 28 meeting.
“It’s a no-win situation,” said Council Member Chuck Hafner. “I think we need to make a decision that’s right for the city. What that is, I really don’t know.”
After some back-and-forth, the council is leaning toward one of two options. The first would prohibit commercial vehicles over 27 feet from parking on public rights-of-way in a residential area for an undetermined number of hours – possibly as little as three or maybe up to a full day.
Mayor Dean Grafos, however, proposed a law even more restrictive: No vehicles, commercial or recreational, over 22 feet on public streets and no commercial trucks bigger than that size allowed on private property in residential areas, period.
“I am pro-business, but not at the expense of our neighborhoods,” Grafos said.
Council Member Rod Higgins said, whatever the council decides, those in the trucking business should be notified so they are not surprised if they are ticketed. Violators could see a fine of up to $52 per instance.
Two years ago, the council addressed the issue of noise from semis – particularly refrigerated trucks – by ordinance. Currently, the cities of Spokane, Liberty Lake and Millwood do not allow semis to park in residential zones.
“We clearly are behind on this,” said Council Member Bill Bates. “We’re in the minority, it seems to me.”