East Hampton Town To Schedule Hearing For Truck Law

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The East Hampton Town Board is poised to set a public hearing for proposed legislation that aims to keep big commercial trucks off residential properties.

At its work session on Tuesday, the board asked Assistant Town Attorney Michael Sendlenski to tweak the drafted law to define a “light truck” as a truck with a 12,500-pound gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) or less.

As it is written now, the proposed law would allow one light truck, which is defined as any commercial vehicle with a gross vehicle weight rating of 12,000 pounds or less, on a residential property, and any number of pickup trucks—as long as no more than two of them feature advertising or lettering.

It would allow licensed contractors who already own and park their heavy-duty trucks with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 12,000 pounds to 14,500 pounds to have until December 31, 2016, to find another place to park them, setting a new limit of one on a property of less than an acre, or two on a 1-acre property. Pickup trucks would not have a limit on how many can be parked at a home.

The Town Board allowed the Springs Citizens Advisory Committee to assess the law and make recommendations. Many committee members said they would have liked to define “light truck” as a truck other than a pickup truck, with a gross vehicle weight rating of 12,000 pounds or less; however, no portion of the vehicle could be taller than 8 feet above the road. Additionally, a light truck’s mechanisms or platform could not exceed the height of the truck’s cab by more than 6 inches.

But the Town Board members said it would be best to keep the definition of “light truck” simple and not require any height restrictions. Town Councilman Fred Overton and Mr. Sendlenski said it would be nearly impossible for code enforcement to gain access to every property and make the necessary measurements.

Increasing the gross vehicle weight rating for light trucks to 12,500 pounds is meant to meet the needs of small business owners who own utility vans, which can range from 10,700 GVWR to 12,300 GVWR, according to Mr. Overton.

Town Councilwoman Sylvia Overby said it has been difficult to figure out a compromise over the past year.

“This is a balancing act and we want people to feel comfortable,” she said. “Small business owners might take their trucks home at night and need them to work, yet they affect other’s quality of life if they use them inappropriately.”

The Town Board will schedule a public hearing on the proposed new rules for June 4.

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