Trafford ‘oversize-vehicle’ regulations under review
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After an “oversize-vehicle” ordinance went unenforced for a decade, Trafford officials are considering revisions to accommodate people who park large work vehicles outside their homes without degrading the character of neighborhoods.
The push to change the regulation arose in February after a police officer who has been doing some code-enforcement work documented eight cases in which residents’ vehicles exceeded the limits in the mostly ignored 2005 ordinance.
The task now, say borough council members and Mayor Rey Peduzzi, is to balance the borough’s need to keep streets clear for emergency vehicles and maintain attractive residential areas without squeezing out people who drive large vehicles daily for work.
The existing ordinance prohibits vehicles that exceed 11,000 pounds or dimensions of 20 feet long, 7 1⁄2 feet wide or 8 feet high. If it’s enforced, people such as Jeff Safran and Steve Matiasic say they would have no choice but to sell their homes and leave town.
Safran, owner of Converge Construction and a three-year borough homeowner, said the length of his Ford truck is 21 feet, 1 inch — which is 13 inches more than the limit. It fits under every other restriction, he said.
“I know somebody else will buy my house, but I’d like to stay,” Safran said.
Peduzzi organized a town-hall meeting on April 8 to hear from vehicle owners who are affected by the ordinance. Initially, officials sent the vehicle owners notice that they would receive nontraffic citations every five days, starting March 23, if they didn’t comply with the ordinance.
However, nobody has been cited so far, Peduzzi said, and officials are trying to work with the vehicle owners to improve the ordinance.
One possible change could involve the height restriction. Though Councilman Dennis Hockenberry, a retired police officer, said many communities have ordinances governing oversize vehicles, he never has heard of a height limit elsewhere.
“We need to tweak it and speak for the people of Trafford,” Hockenberry said.
Some of the vehicle owners also said they receive a discount on their insurance for being able to park outside their homes instead of at a storage facility.
Matiasic, a 13-year borough resident, said he doesn’t think his vehicle would be safe if he stored it where borough officials recommended — in an area below the Trafford Veterans Memorial Bridge.
His vehicle’s alarm has “never gone off when it’s parked under my window,” he said.
Chris Foreman is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-871-2363 or firstname.lastname@example.org.