Groveport City Council is taking another look at a recently approved ordinance that enforces new restrictions for heavy trucks parking in residential areas.
The review comes after two residents -- Anthony Gullett of Green Avenue and Kimberly Marsee of Main Street -- expressed concerns in August that the law is causing "hardships" for some small-business owners.
The ordinance approved by council July 22 restricts heavy-truck parking on any street, alley or driveway in the city limits between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. The restrictions do not apply to "motor vehicles registered as commercial vehicles that have a gross vehicle weight not exceeding 10,000 pounds, limited to two-axle construction and a limit of four wheels."
"We're trying to please everyone, but there has to be a time to set the rules," council President Pro Tem Shawn Cleary said after council's Sept. 16 committee-of-the-whole meeting.
For now, police are not enforcing the law, so council can discuss changes proposed by Kevin Shannon, the city's law director. New draft language would not prohibit heavy trucks from being parked on private property.
"The issue we're wrestling with now is if a person lives next to me, and let's say he's a carpenter or home remodeler, and he has a big box truck parked in his driveway. Is that OK?" council Vice President Scott Lockett said. "There's a fine line. We're worried about the business owner's rights, but we're also worried about the neighbor who might not want to look at that big box truck sitting next to him."
That's the situation for council member Ed Dildine Jr., who lives next to Gullett.
While Dildine couldn't attend the Sept. 16 meeting, he sent a letter expressing his "2 cents" on the draft language.
"This ordinance was brought up by other members, but I became the most vocal about it to ensure the process was thought out," Dildine wrote. "I don't know how many of you have to deal with this, but I do and have for a long time.
"The gentleman who spoke (Gullett) is my neighbor and was aware of the entire process and didn't decide to come forward (until) after everything was finished. I asked him over and over to come to the meetings while it was being discussed."
Dildine added that Gullett's vehicles block his view when pulling out of his driveway.
"This is because of him parking his large commercial truck in the driveway," he said. "I know this probably won't change anyone's mind but just wanted to give you my insight."
Council initially reviewed the ordinance this summer after residential complaints and enforcement concerns.
Shannon said some SUVs, pickup trucks and other vehicles, such as Cadillac Escalades, might be over the 5,000-pound limit that was set under the old law.
The new ordinance did not modify penalties for violators.
Those who violate the current law could be charged with a minor misdemeanor for the first offense. If there is a second offense within a year, "the person is guilty of a misdemeanor of the fourth degree," according to the ordinance.
For each subsequent violation within a year after the first offense, the charge increases to a third-degree misdemeanor.
In Ohio, third-degree misdemeanors are punishable by up to 60 days in jail and up to a $500 fine. Fourth-degree misdemeanors carry a penalty of up to 30 days in jail and up to a $250 fine.