Service vehicles may not be parked on Yuma residential streets for more than eight hours, according to a subsection added to the city’s Streets and Traffic Code.

On Wednesday, the council unanimously adopted an ordinance that limits to eight hours the parking of commercial vehicles in residential districts during the performance of jobs.

The previous code limited the time large commercial trucks and trailers could park on residential streets to 5 minutes. But, with this change, officials are acknowledging vehicles that must be parked for longer periods during on-site jobs.

Earlier this year, the council requested that city staff address the code as it relates to parking on residential streets. Staff was asked to include language that allowed service providers, including landscapers, electricians and public utility suppliers, to park their vehicles on residential streets when actively engaged in providing a service to a residential property.

The ordinance exempts public safety agencies and/or public utilities vehicles if drivers are on call.

Community Development Assistant Director Alyssa Linville reassured Thomas that service providers may park their vehicle in their own driveway as long as they don’t block sidewalks.

The ordinance still restricts overnight parking for large commercial vehicles in residential districts. City staff was careful not to create a loophole that would permit long-term parking or storage of large commercial vehicles on residential streets.

Mayor Doug Nicholls noted that the issue is complicated and he suspects that the council will continue to revisit the ordinance as the city learns how it impacts the livelihood of citizens.

The idea is not to clutter streets and address safety concerns that overcrowding might present to neighborhoods, Linville said. Earlier this year, the council requested that city staff address parking on residential streets after receiving complaints of overcrowding from the public.

“Overcrowding not only disrupts quality of life in residential neighborhoods, but also impedes visibility and traffic circulation,” a staff report notes. “A majority of residential developments within the City of Yuma are not designed, built, or intended to accommodate the storage of commercial vehicles and/or trailers, whether on private property or within the residential public right-of-way.”

Staff took input from council members and other information provided to the city, including grievances from the public, and then reviewed past recommendations and researched other Arizona municipalities’ codes. 

The staff report indicates that the eight hour time limitation is not arbitrary; it is based on the traditional workday for these trades and consistent with what the public would expect.

The new subsection also cites a newly enacted state law regulating parking codes on residential streets. House Bill 2107, signed into law by Gov. Doug Ducey on April 11, preempts Arizona cities and towns from prohibiting residents from parking a company vehicle on the street under two conditions: a vehicle is required to be available at designated periods at the person’s residence as a condition of the person’s employment if employed by recognized utilities or public safety and the vehicle had a gross vehicle weight of 20,000 pounds or less (essentially U.S. Department of Transportation Class 5 or below).

The  existing city code is less restrictive than the new state law as it exempts from regulation vehicles which are not greater than a Class 6 and provide on-call services, the report notes.

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