Groveport approves parking restrictions for heavy trucks

SCOTT GERFEN
editorial@thisweeknews.com
ThisWeek group

After more than a year of discussion, Groveport City Council has settled on new restrictions for parking heavy trucks in the city.

The ordinance approved by a 5-1 vote July 27 changes the city's zoning code to say no more than one tuck "limited to being a two-axle, six-tiered pickup, panel, or light truck, used strictly for commercial purposes with a gross weight not exceeding 19,500 pounds shall be allowed per one dwelling."

The vehicle also must be parked on a paved driveway or paved surface at the side or rear of a property. It cannot be parked in the front yard.

The new restrictions take effect 30 days after council's approval.

Councilman Scott Lockett, who voted against the legislation, preferred a variance process.

"All the neighborhoods in Groveport are different, so it's difficult to come up with a solution or ordinance to fit every community," he said. "My take from the beginning was to do a permit process and have the neighbors speak because they're the ones who have to look at the trucks."

In July 2019, council approved an ordinance that restricted heavy-truck parking on any street, alley or driveway within city limits between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. The restrictions did 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."

Penalties for violating the updated ordinance remain unchanged: Those who do could be charged with a minor misdemeanor for a first offense. If there is a conviction on 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.

Council began looking at Groveport's city code last year after residents complained about large vehicles causing street congestion and making it challenging for emergency vehicles to get down streets. Council has also heard from other residents who have said the parking restrictions create hardships for business owners and for those who drive box trucks.

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