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Truckers filing lawsuit as area tries to “eradicate” them with ban on trucks

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Truckers filing lawsuit against Florida county after choice to start enforcing truck parking ban for the first time in “over 20 years.”

An ongoing dispute between Palm Beach County, Florida and truckers who live in semi-rural neighborhoods there may lead to a lawsuit against the county, an attorney says. 

An attorney representing two truck drivers living in Loxahatchee and the Acreage neighborhoods in Palm Beach County says he is preparing to file a lawsuit on behalf of the truckers as a result of a February 22nd ruling. The decision bans residents from parking trucks over 16,000 pounds on their own properties, reported the Palm Beach Post.

For now, truck drivers have until July 1st to find a new spot to park their trucks, but there has been much debate over the legalities of banning truckers that have been parking on their own properties for decades, including questions over the incorrect use of the term ‘semi truck’ in the ordinance itself. 

“They’re defending their livelihood out there, that’s what this suit, this lawsuit is about. It’s about their livelihood,” said West Palm Beach attorney Christopher Mills to CBS 12.

“The county has not enforced this ordinance in over 20 years and now all of a sudden through an interpretation of the whole code they are trying to eradicate these folks’ rights and take these folks’ rights they’ve had for 20 years,” Mills continued. 

Mills and the truckers he represents argue that the county has no right to tell them what to do on their own property, especially after more than 20 years. They also argue that there are state and federal laws that prevent the county from interfering with commerce, which could include changing where semi trucks can park. Additionally, the incorrect use of the term ‘semi truck’ in the code itself has some officials wondering if the truckers could even be entitled to compensation. 

“We need to support people who are working hard to support their families. Give them a place to be and exist,'” said Sara Baxter, Palm Beach County Commissioner, District 6.

Baxter, who has been a staunch supporter of the neighborhood truckers throughout this ordeal, says that she would prefer that the county agree to a compromise involving grandfathering in truckers who already live in the area. 

“We don’t want to waste dollars on needless lawsuits,” she said.

In order to avoid the lawsuits, the county needs to approve a plan that would issue special permits to people already parking their semi trucks at their homes, allowing them to continue doing so.

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