After months of wrangling, the Vienna town council has approved an ordinance outlawing the parking of commercial vehicles on residential streets for longer than one hour on weekdays.
The measure aims to clear the streets of parked commercial vehicles such as wrecking trucks and dump trucks, which many Vienna residents contend are dangerous and unsightly. Under the new ordinance, a commercial vehicle may be parked outside a home on the street for longer than an hour only if it is loading, unloading or performing a service.
The ordinance also bars owners of commercial vehicles weighing more than 20,000 pounds from moving parked vehicles off private property between 7 p.m. and 5 a.m.
"We are trying to prevent someone from making night calls, waking up the neighborhood at all hours," said councilman Vince Olson, who introduced the ordinance. "Someone even had a trash truck sitting in the backyard, and wreckers were operating from their homes."
In a public hearing on the issue earlier this month, Vienna resident Bob Peterson told the council that a garbage truck was parked 80 feet from his patio, attracting flies and causing a bad odor in his neighborhood. He also complained of noise early Saturday mornings, when the owner of the truck warmed up the engine.
For months, residents have circulated petitions supporting the ordinance, and one angry man submitted photographs of 51 commercial vehicles parked on residential streets. Several self-employed workers opposed the new rules. They complained that the town was making life harder for the "laboring class."
"We don't want to impose an undue burden on people working out of their homes, but citizens have a right to enjoy the peace and tranquility of their homes," Olson said. "We tried to meet at a middle ground to protect everyone's rights."
The council approved the ordinance Monday night, after six drafts and three public hearings. It will be effective later this month, 10 days after the town publishes notice of its adoption.