A South Scottsdale resident has petitioned the City Council to ban semi-trailer trucks from parking at homes in the city.
Specifically, the petition submitted by Darlene Petersen asked the council to prohibit vehicles with a gross weight over 10,000 pounds or dual rear wheels over 17 inches from parking on residential lots.
Petersen, who has lived in her south Scottsdale home since the 1950s, pursued the petition after speaking with neighbors upset about a semi-truck that was parked at a neighboring home.
Petersen said the lot sizes in the area simply cannot accommodate the trucks.
“These yards aren’t big enough for large vehicles,” she said. “All houses south of Thomas Road are this size.”
She said she would not be opposed to a parking ordinance that allowed the trucks to park on larger one-acre lots.
Petersen believes the trucks are a safety issue because they can block the view of drivers in adjacent driveways and make it difficult to see oncoming traffic, bicyclists or children.
She had similar concerns about RVs that parked on residential lots in her area nearly 20 years ago. In 2001, Petersen was part of a community group that fought for a new parking ordinance that included rules prohibiting parking RVs in the front yard.
The City Council ultimately adopted the ordinance in 2003.
That proposed ordinance initially included language banning vehicles with a gross weight over 10,000 pounds or dual rear wheels over 17 inches from parking on residential lots. However, the ordinance adopted by the City Council in 2003 omitted that language.
Petersen said the noise from the trucks starting up at night has bothered residents in neighboring homes.
“The neighbors don’t like it,” she said. “It wakes them up at night.”
Petersen said that some neighbors considered the trucks an eyesore and were concerned about the effect the presence of the large trucks could have on home values.
She said the homes were considered affordable housing at around $10,000 when she moved in, but values have skyrocketed in recent years as many property owners invest in remodeling and upgrades.
Most homes in the neighborhood are now valued at $300,000 to $400,000, according to Zillow, an online real estate marketplace.
“There is an ordinance about grass height,” Petersen said. “If they can make provisions like that, they ought to be able to add this to the parking ordinance.”
Patricia Badenoch, a founding member of Coalition of Greater Scottsdale who previously served on the Neighborhood Enhancement Commission, lives near Chaparral and Scottsdale Road and said she is also worried about the effect these trucks could have on property values.
Similar to Petersen, Badenoch said that 50 years ago, homes in her neighborhood went for under $10,000 but are now valued at upwards of $400,000, with some home values approaching $1 million due to extensive renovations.
“It does drive down property values if (a large truck is) just there for weeks on end or a regular basis,” she said. “When you show a house, the first things the buyers look at is the surrounding environment.”
Council directed the City Manager to investigate the issue and compile a report.