East Hampton Still Tweaking Truck Parking Limits

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East Hampton Town Board members are looking to tread lightly as they push forward with legislation to restrict the parking of commercial trucks at residential properties, so as to lighten the impact on local tradespeople whenever the new rules are enacted.

Since the proposal was introduced earlier this year, town officials have tweaked some of the code amendments they plan to reduce the number and visual impacts of commercial trucks parked overnight at residential homes. The legislation would limit the parking of commercial vehicles to just one light truck per household. The wording will also add the definition of light truck as a commercial vehicle weighing less than 12,500 pounds.

Pickup-style vehicles, regardless of weight, will not be limited, provided the truck’s bed is less than 9 feet long and any cap or attachment to the bed is not wider or higher than the cab of the truck.

The new limits would have a grace period of approximately 18 months, Assistant Town Attorney Michael Sendlenski told board members, to allow businesses to make other accommodations.

Supervisor Larry Cantwell noted that other communities in Suffolk County have capped the defined weight of light trucks at 10,000 pounds and have required screening if they are to be parked in residential driveways.

Councilman Peter Van Scoyoc noted that the lack of a definition of light truck in the town code has led to a proliferation of commercial vehicles stored at residential properties and that removing the allowance abruptly, without some acknowledged accommodation for where businesses might store their vehicles otherwise, could be harsh on small independent business owners.

While Councilman Fred Overton said he was willing to push the legislation to public hearing, Mr. Cantwell and Mr. Van Scoyoc said they would like to see the legislation held back until more progress is made on alternative parking allowances and to give the board time to consider whether screening, like hedges or fencing, should be required on properties storing commercial vehicles, as well as to look further at what other communities have done.

The Planning Department has been working on a proposal that could allow commercial property owners to rent space in their parking lots for the overnight parking of commercial vehicles.

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