Truckers ticketed for parking on their own property during a recent uptick in code enforcement are asking for options as the county works through zoning decisions.
Residents in Loxahatchee, Florida have been parking semi trucks on their own properties for a while without issue. Now, country inspectors have suddenly begun writing people up for their truck parking, leaving the truckers who live in the community without many options.
“We have the land for the vehicles. It’s not like we’re bothering our neighbors,” said Natalia Melian, a Loxahatchee resident who owns and operates a small trucking company out of their home with her husband Ricardo.
“I feel horrible. I feel harassed, I feel not being listened to. I need a path forward. That’s all I’m asking,” Melian said of the sudden code enforcement and subsequent ticketing.
Melian and her family are not the only ones suffering from the county’s recent interest in zoning related to truck parking – trucker Juan Vargas also parks his rig at his home in Loxahatchee, and says he can’t afford to park the truck somewhere else.
“I think it’s a ridiculous move on the county, to be honest with you. We are homeowners, we pay our taxes. We’re just trying to make a living for our families,” Vargas said to CBS 12 News.
Last year, when the enforcement suddenly started, drivers who had been parking at their homes for more than a decade feared they would have to sell their homes to avoid costly tickets. At that time, officials blamed the sudden enforcement on “a changing population,” but provided no solutions for the drivers.
At least one Palm Beach County Commissioner agrees with the drivers, and says she plans to fight for their right to park on their own property.
“I’m for allowing our residents more freedoms,” said Sara Baxter, Palm Beach County Commissioner for District 6.
“We need to allow spaces for privately-owned individual business owners, especially our small business owners, a space to exist. Without the huge overhead of parking in a commercial site. It’s essential to our area community and keeping costs down for our residents.”
Just about a year ago, truckers, farmers, and other small business owners in the county gathered outside of the Palm Beach County Governmental Center to protest the uptick in code enforcement, but little seems to have changed since then. Some residents say they plan to return to the building on Wednesday, November 29th to let the commissioners know how they feel about the codes. Palm Beach County Commissioners are scheduled to vote on the semi truck parking issue on that day.