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Winter Park / Maitland Observer Thursday, May 16, 2019 6 months ago

Maitland City Council tables commercial vehicle ordinance

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Council members will consider an ordinance regarding commercial vehicles parked in residential areas June 10.
by: Harry Sayer Black Tie Reporter

Maitland approved a collection container ordinance and a lengthy consent agenda but failed to reach a consensus on a commercial vehicle regulation ordinance. 

Commercial Vehicle Regulations

After nearly two hours of discussion, Maitland City Council members failed to reach a decision on an ordinance regulating commercial vehicles in residential districts. 

The city received a zoning complaint in 2018 concerning a commercial vehicle parked on a residential driveway. At that time, the city determined the vehicle didn’t violate zoning laws based on the definition of a commercial vehicle. It later was decided the vehicle violated a different city ordinance, and a special magistrate determined in 2019 the vehicle was in violation of the zoning law. The City Council decided in early 2019 to have staff draft an amendment clarifying what vehicles would be allowed to park in residential districts. Staff based their definition on that of the Florida of Transportation.

The city’s Planning and Zoning Commission moved the ordinance forward in April, with the added notes of excluding vehicle manufacturer branding from the commercial vehicle definition of logos and advertisements. The Development Review Committee added language allowing commercial vehicles to be parked in garages and further clarified logo and lettering sizes. 

The council introduced the ordinance in an April meeting, but with concerns for citizens with pickups that weigh more than 10,000 pounds, which would classify them as commercial vehicles. Staff increased the definition to be more than 14,000 pounds and included language allowing residents to establish the vehicles aren’t for commercial use. The ordinance also established two square feet as an appropriate amount of signage for a car.         

However, the council failed to find the resolution it sought at the May meeting. Council members debated what level of weight regulation should be applied and whether the city’s current definition was too narrow. 

“It’s frustrating to find ourselves in a spot where we need to try to find something like this in some manner … it’s not easy to do,” Mayor Dale McDonald said. “And for 135 years, we haven’t had to do this. I’m not sure there’s a perfect way to do this. This is like finding pornography — you know when you see it; you know when it’s wrong on the street.”

The council ultimately tabled the discussion and requested city staff to return to council with the ordinance with more precise wording. The council will return to the matter on June 10. 

Collection Containers

The council adopted an ordnance establishing the regulation of recycling drop-off stations and collections containers. 

City staff has worked with the city attorney on the ordinance to regulate these containers after receiving questions about stations that had become littered about with garbage. Staff devised a plan that included regulations, where the containers are allowed, size requirements, property, maintenance standards and more. 

The council moved the ordinance forward at the April 22 meeting with notes to ensure the liability of property owners and bin owners as well as making sure the zoning violations would be put in place. The penalty for leaving garbage out after receiving a warning from the city would be up to $500 a day.

IN OTHER NEWS

The city authorized a grant agreement for the construction of an East-West connector trail between Maitland and the Florida Department of Environment Protection. The city was awarded $200,000 from the Recreational Trail Program in 2017 for reimbursement from construction expenses from developing the connector trail. The city will have a $200,000 cash match for the full bike trail, which will be built between Maitland Avenue and Wymore Road. The project will take two years to complete. 

McDonald declared May 19 to 25 to be Emergency Medical Services Week and May 25 to 29 to be National Public Works Week in the city of Maitland.

Florida House District 30 representative and former Maitland councilwoman Joy Goff-Marcil returned to the City Council to discuss the recently concluded Florida legislative session.

Harry Sayer is the Black Tie Reporter for the Observer. He is a graduate of the University of Central Florida and previously worked the Black Tie beat for the Observer newspaper in Winter Park and Maitland. You can catch him at one of Sarasota's fundraisers and shindigs. 

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