Residential big-rig parking ban upheld by Calexico Planning Commission

August 28, 2001|By AARON CLAVERIE, Staff Writer

CALEXICO — For more than 45 minutes, a group of Calexico truck drivers argued their case before the Calexico Planning Commission.

They told the commission truckers should be allowed to legally park their truck cabs on residential streets in front of their houses because their cabs are being vandalized in the truck-parking facilities throughout town.

The drivers said it is their right to park their trucks on city streets because they pay property taxes just like every other resident and deserve the same benefits.

After listening to their arguments and the counsel of city Planning Director Ricardo Hinojosa, the board voted 5-0 on Monday to strictly enforce the city's zoning regulation and not allow truck parking on residential streets.


Hinojosa told the truck drivers sitting in the back of the council chambers the gist of the commission's decision, "No permiso."

Enrique Delgado, one of the truckers who led a petition drive to amend the zoning regulations, addressed the commission after its decision.

He asked the commissioners for a ruling that would allow him and his fellow truckers to park on or near their houses until the truck-parking facilities have adequate security.

One of his colleagues asked if the city could just have truck parking in one section of the town and not another.

Commission chairman Armando Zuniga said he empathized with the truckers' plight, saying, "If I was a truck driver I'd be here also."

However, Zuniga and the rest of the commission made it clear that city regulations would not be relaxed for one group at the expense of other Calexicans.

Commissioner Arturo Selwick said, "At 4 or 5 o'clock in the morning it is not very fun hearing diesel motors warming up in your neighborhood."

Commissioner Richard Romero said the proposal to split the residential sections of town into legal truck parking zones would be the "worst situation you could ever have."

He said the costs incurred by the truckers is the cost of doing business.

Commissioner John Moreno wanted to know if Hinojosa had any hard data to back up the truckers' claims that their trucks were being vandalized at the parking facilities.

Hinojosa told the board he had called the Police Department and was told the problem is not limited to trucks.

Zuniga provided anecdotal evidence to back that up: "My car was vandalized at 10 o'clock in the morning in front of Carrows."

City Attorney Michael Rood specifically addressed whether the city had any right to force the truck-parking facilities to provide security.

He said he was "99 percent sure" the city could not require the facilities to provide security.

"It's an issue they should raise with the truck-parking facilities," Rood said of the truckers.

Hinojosa said the city could require any future lots to offer security if they file for a conditional-use permit for the operation of such a facility.

Later in the meeting that particular issue became relevant when the board set a Sept. 10 public hearing for Ramon Lopez's permit application for a new truck-parking facility. The facility would be on West Second Street near the border.

Hinojosa said the city could require Lopez to install security lights and hire a night watchman before granting him a conditional-use permit.

Staff Writer Aaron Claverie can be reached at 337-3419 or

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