By Bryan Boggiano
At their last meeting, the city commission voted to extend a pilot program easing parking requirements for commercial and recreational vehicles through Aug 16.
The final vote follows the commission’s deliberations surrounding the program on Feb 15.
Enacted unanimously on Feb 16, 2022, the pilot program featured changes to parking requirements for commercial and recreational vehicles in certain parts of the city.
As part of the program, recreational vehicles may be parked on a paved driveway from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m. Monday through Friday. They can also park on a paved driveway from 9 p.m. Friday until 9 p.m. Sunday. If Monday is a federal holiday, they may be parked until 9 p.m. Monday.
Before the pilot program, recreational vehicle parking was allowed Monday through Saturday from 6 a.m. until 9 p.m. Parking on Sunday was restricted.
In business districts, commercial vehicles may be parked in front of the business but as far away as possible from any street right of way after 9 p.m. or until all businesses close in the plaza the business is located in, whichever is earlier.
Before the pilot program, commercial vehicles could not park in front of businesses until after 9 p.m.
Despite the commission’s intent to allow vehicle owners and businesses more flexibility, staff and the commission grew increasingly concerned about code violations.
Vice Mayor Shawn Cerra said that although he initially voted to support the program, he believes it is not working. Although code enforcement has improved in addressing violations, he thinks they are better suited to pay attention to other issues in the city.
“I do see this exhausting our resources in a way that is not necessary,” Cerra said.
He stated if the program passed, the commission would decide whether to extend it again in August.
After Aug 16, the commission can vote either to extend the program, make code revisions, or end the program altogether. He stated the commission would make this decision based on data from violations and resident input from community surveys.
“If you’re not following the rules, please get in line,” Cerra said. “If the data remains the same, I will be a hard no.”
If the violations came down significantly, he said he would reverse course.
Ultimately, the commission extended the program 4-1. Cerra opposed.
In response to the program’s extension, Mayor Scott Brook said, “Hopefully, it will be successful. Somehow, some way, we will come out with the right result.”
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- A University of Florida journalism graduate, Bryan is pursuing his masters in geosciences at Florida International University. He has a strong interest in weather, entertainment, and journalism.
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