By Jim McCune
Thank you for the opportunity to further clarify the intent of the County Council for regulating commercial truck parking in unincorporated Pierce County as expressed in Ordinance 2014-49s.
Several constituents, aggravated by insensitive truck drivers, had contacted my office over the past year citing concerns about traffic safety, noise and declining property values due to semi trucks parking in the right-of-way and in front of their homes day after day. (It is always a good time to remind ourselves that there are no laws against peace, patience or goodness.)
In an effort to be sensitive to the needs of businesses and fair to the residents and neighborhoods affected by truck parking, Councilman Rick Talbert and I worked to formulate a plan that would be a win/win solution. Not wanting to implement an all-out 24-hour ban, as has been done in other cities and counties, the solution we developed restricts the parking of large commercial trucks and trailers along the side of public roads in the public right-of-way, between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., in certain areas of the county. The restriction does not apply to private property and does not change any rules related to the parking of commercial trucks on a person’s own land.
The portion of the county that is subject to the restriction is primarily the urban growth area located north of 208th Street East, and is about 9 percent of the total unincorporated area, excluding federal lands. The restriction does not apply in cities or towns, as these jurisdictions establish their own rules, nor does it apply to the majority of the rural area.
In closing, I want to reiterate that the restriction is an effort to balance the needs of residents and neighborhoods with the needs of truck drivers. I believe that the restriction adopted by the council struck the right balance. Councilman Talbert and I do, however, intend to monitor the effects of the restriction over the next 24 months and are willing to look at additional options in the future that may aid the trucking industry in addressing their parking needs.
Jim McCune is a Pierce County Council member. The district he represents includes Graham, Eatonville, Frederickson, Ashford, Spanaway and Elbe.