News

Truckers can park at home for now

By ERICA HALL

Staff writer

Commercial vehicle drivers can continue to park their rigs at home in Federal Way for the time being since an ordinance that would have prohibited them from parking their rigs in residential areas and relaxed restrictions on recreational vehicle sizes has been sent back to the city’s Planning Commission for more work.

On Sept. 2, the City Council heard a first reading of changes to ordinance 329 that would have regulated commercial vehicles based on weight and use, not the current height and length criteria. The changes also would have allowed recreational vehicles up to 28 feet in length to be parked at private residences.

The council remanded the ordinance to the commission to see if the latter could find a solution to the concerns of neighbors who find the commercial vehicles a nuisance without penalizing all commercial truck drivers.

The commission is expected to revisit the ordinance with more information from city officials next month. They’ll forward a recommendation to the city’s Land-Use and Transportation Committee, which will review it before sending it back before the full council.

Janelle Massengill, whose husband is a long-haul trucker, said the amendment unfairly targeted commercial vehicle drivers.

“These guys are out for two or three weeks at a time and they want to come home for a day or two before they go out again,” she told the council Tuesday. “We shouldn’t have to ask our neighbors for permission to park. It’s our property.”

Others reiterated they wanted to see the amendment passed to keep commercial vehicles out of their neighborhoods.

Marie Sciacqua said her neighborhood had been nice from the time she moved there in 1976 until about three years ago.

“I am the victim of a commercial vehicle parked next door,” she said. “The driver is inconsiderate and disrespectful and sometimes he brings his work home with him.”

Sciacqua said she frequently can’t see around her neighbor’s tow truck when she’s backing out of her driveway, and because it’s so big, it narrows the road into and out of the cul de sac. She said she’s concerned emergency vehicles wouldn’t be able to get into or out of the area.

Still others who testified wanted the council to reject the amendment because they had similar concerns about relaxing the rules governing recreational vehicles.

Diane Snyder, who lives in West Campus, said people along her narrow street tend to park their cars on the sidewalk when their RVs are in their driveways. When the sidewalks are occupied by cars, pedestrians are forced to walk in the street, she said.

After pulling the ordinance, Councilman Dean McColgan said further review in committee might lead officials to the same conclusions, but at least they’ll have a chance to consider the input they’ve received.

“When we first heard (ordinance) 329 presented to the (Land-Use and Transportation Committee), there was very little opposition,” he said. “In the last month or so, we’ve heard considerable opposition.”

Councilwoman Mary Gates said there were several issues the city could examine to alleviate some of the neighbors’ concerns, including streetside parking, noise and vehicle size issues — including the sizes of recreational vehicles.

“We’ve heard really good analysis from our citizens,” she said.

Staff writer Erica Hall: 925-5565, ehall@fedwaymirror.com

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