Palm Coast's City Council is considering eliminating the city's longstanding ban on the parking of commercial vehicles in residential areas.
Councilman Victor Barbosa, who has a pickup truck with signage advertising his barbershop and once received a violation notice from the city after parking it in his driveway (he moved the truck before the violation notice turned into a citation), began challenging the rule from the dais soon after his election.
The Palm Coast ordinance defines a commercial vehicle as “agricultural, construction or industrial equipment” or “any motor vehicle upon which advertising markings have been affixed which occupy in excess of three square feet per side,” plus buses, step vans, tractors, trailers, limos, cabs, ice cream truck, tow vehicles and vehicles with certain kinds of cargo racks and boxes.
But how much or an outlier is Palm Coast and its commercial vehicles rule?
Of 10 cities nearest Palm Coast in terms of population — the five with population numbers immediately less than Palm Coast’s or more than Palm Coast’s, based on 2018 numbers — all had some kind of restriction on commercial vehicles in residential areas.
Most, however, based the definition of commercial vehicle on the vehicles’ size and function.
Three — Largo, Plantation and Boca Raton — join Palm Coast in defining vehicles with commercial lettering as commercial vehicles and banning them from parking in residential areas.
Those three, unlike Palm Coast, don’t exempt vehicles on which the commercial lettering is small.
Deerfield Beach, in Broward County, departs from the others in expressly allowing a single commercial vehicle to be parked on a residential property, as long as it meets certain size restrictions and doesn’t contain commercial equipment or any material that is “hazardous, obnoxious, offensive or has bad odors or dust emanating therefrom.”
Boynton Beach bans construction vehicles, but has an exception for pickup trucks; Fort Myers bans vehicles with a capacity over 1.5 tons; Miami Beach bans ones over 5,000 pounds.
See the box at left for a look at what other cities are doing.