As I have mentioned in previous columns, I will be presenting topics that may or will be coming to Planning & Zoning (P&Z), and/or the Board of Aldermen that residents may have an interest in. At our December P&Z meeting, the topic of “Commercial Vehicles” being parked in driveways will be discussed and possibly voted on. This ordinance could be a significant change for Lake Saint Louis. That is because our current code does not allow commercial vehicles to be parked in driveways. Other cities typically define commercial vehicles as a substantial weight, length or DOT classification. We define this vehicle as being used primarily for a business enterprise and having signage or equipment cargo capability like carrying a ladder rack or snow plow. A pickup truck with a ladder rack or a sign on the side is defined as a commercial vehicle in Lake Saint Louis but may not be so in other cities.
Nearly all cities in the county restrict commercial vehicles from being parked in residential driveway. I think most everyone will agree a vehicle exceeding 24 feet in length and 8 feet in width as defined in other cities shouldn’t be parked in a driveway. Should a Ford F150 with signage on the door or a ladder rack be prohibited from driveways in Lake Saint Louis? What about a van the owner uses for his plumbing business. Some businesses require employees to take these type of vehicles home as part of their job duty and their garage is too small for that van. Are we making it too difficult for people who must bring home these vehicles for their job to live in the City?
Several aldermen think the current ordinance is hard to enforce as most people park in their driveways after city business hours. The Board is considering whether or not to allow one commercial vehicle to be parked in the driveway. This is a big decision to consider. I am torn as I have lived in Lake Saint Louis for 34 years and did not have a problem with our stringent rules. As Mayor, I hear from some that it is a burden to find a house where their truck or van fits. They may live in an apartment complex without a garage and won’t be able to work at their job if they live in our City.
I do want to point out that enacting this ordinance would conflict with the Lake Saint Louis Community Association (CA) rules as well as some of the other subdivision Homeowners Associations (HOAs) within the City. These Homeowners Associations could still use their covenants to restrict commercial vehicles if they desire. Please provide your comments by visiting the City website www.lakesaintlouis.com which has the six Board of Aldermen email addresses located under Board of Aldermen, me at (firstname.lastname@example.org or 561-4366) or City staff (625-1200). This topic is on the Thursday December 7th Planning and Zoning Commission agenda which begins at 7 pm.