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Election 2017 Question of the Week: Residential parking regulations

September 1, 2017
Cape Coral Daily Breeze

Each week through the primary, The Breeze will ask the candidates for Cape Coral City Council an issue-related question. In the interest of fairness, each candidate is limited to the same amount of space, about 100 words, for their response. As you review the races, please note that Cape Coral City Council races are non-partisan, citywide elections. This means all registered voters can cast a ballot in each race, no matter party affiliation, no matter the district in which they live.

The eighth Question of the Week is: Should the city of Cape Coral revisit residential parking regulations for things such as RVs,boats and commercial vehicles? If so which should be reconsidered?

MAYOR'S RACE:

- Joe Coviello: Yes, I am in favor of revisiting the residential parking regulations while maintaining a clean and desirable look in the city. The demographics of Cape Coral has changed since the regulations were enacted. The city needs to support developing small business and hard working residents. I do not want a semi-truck parked in a residential driveway. However, if a resident has a company logo on the side of a pick-up truck or a small boat that should be open for discussion. I want to arrive at a reasonable solution that upholds a positive appearance while considering our changing community.

* * *

- Derrick Donnell: I do not support modifying the RV and boating regulations. However, I feel we should continue to look for practical modifications to the commercial vehicle guidelines for those residents that utilize this vehicle daily to earn a living. One reading of article 3 section 12 of the Cape Coral Code of Ordinances found on the city's website provides everyone insight as to the complexity of this issue. During my time as your council representative we worked with various community representatives, city staff and business organizations to adopt the current ordinance. I will strongly support this collaborative approach for all future policies.

* * *

- Rana Erbrick: Yes I am willing to revisit this ordinance with a focus on developing reasonable and realistic commercial parking allowances in residential areas. Guidelines and enforcement would be key to ensuring that surrounding residential property values are not negatively impacted. Our City is full of hard-working people, let's not penalize them for it. So let's have this conversation and work toward a sensible solution.

* * *

- April Freeman: Not only should we revisit residential parking regulations, we need to immediately revise regulations for all aforementioned vehicles.

Cape Coral has a large demographic of working class homeowners, service workers and small business owners. Current regulations send an unwelcoming message to these homeowners. Furthermore, I will not support making a profit from these homeowners by forcing them to park in designated "for profit" parking lots - as home owners they should be afforded the ability to park their vehicle at home.

* * *

- Michael D. Hollow: The ordinance currently on the books is antiquated, it's time to update it. We are a blue-collar city, with blue collar workers. With we can limit the vehicles to the same weight limit as defined by a Class E License. We can allow the promotion of local businesses, but we restrict their ability to park at home. This adds to the reasoning of why people feel Cape Coral is not business friendly. We can have the same vehicle parked side by side in a driveway, but because one has commercial signage visible that makes it "illegal," is that really fair?

* * *

- Kevin Koch: The current city ordinance outlying parking restrictions on commercial vehicles is outdated and should be modified. While there is no doubt that we need some restrictions on what can and can't be parked outside of a home, there is no reason that someone with a work truck can't park outside their house just because their business address is somewhere on their vehicle. Meanwhile, we have homes where people park three, four, or more cars in their yard and that's allowed? I will go line by line through the city ordinances in order to update them and instill common sense.

* * *

- Daniel James Sheppard III: We have to create solutions for all these vehicles. There must be a place for all. We must operate as a community. Working together to solve these problems. This makes our community stronger and more inviting.

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DISTRICT 1

- Jim Burch (Incumbent): Mr. Burch has withdrawn from the race; he is no longer running.

* * *

- James Frederick Foraker: I definitely think that we should look at this again. Our cities demographics have changed since these regulations were put into place. Modern up to date regulations should be in place so that the wants and needs of our citizens are addressed. Commercial vehicles under a specific GVW along with height and length requirements should be allowed. Boats and RVs should be under the same restrictions. Current registrations and tags should be in place.

This issue has been brought up every election cycle and still is not resolved. Not solving citizen wants and needs is not good government. I will change that.

* * *

- John Gunter: I feel the city always has the responsibility to periodically reexamine our code compliance regulations. We must ensure the best fit, for the needs of the city, for the current times. I also feel we need to reevaluate all of the current code regulations. The current RV and boat regulations I agree with. I feel we need to better identify the definition of a commercial vehicle. I feel this should be defined by the weight of the vehicle, therefore, smaller vehicles should be allowed to park within our community. We need to establish additional guidelines, no ladders or ladder racks, no debris in the vehicle, only one vehicle allowed, and the vehicle must be used on a daily basis. I feel this type of regulation could work for our city.

* * *

- Graham Madison Morris: There are many regulations, not just these, that could be beneficial to citizens if Council revisits them. Attentiveness to any potential changes in regulations is an important part of the City Council's duties. On these rules in particular, I question the contradiction of wanting to see business grow and the small business entrepreneur nurtured in our City, while these very individuals are told that they can't park their means and tools for working this way at their own residences. Dump trucks and the like have a place elsewhere, but the everyday work van used by the everyday working man? I'm more than ready to discuss that!

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DISTRICT 4

- Jeffrey Alan Jones:I believe that all vehicles must be parked on an improved surface, such as concrete, asphalt or gravel. All boat and utility trailers must be parked on an improved surface when parked on private property.

The problem I see is that common sense has been discarded about commercial vehicles. Cape Coral prides itself on working with small businesses, but their vehicles are exempt and therefore penalized if parked at their residences. Time to reevaluate the city ordinance and bring it up to reflect common sense.

Recreational vehicles or travel trailers should be parked on an improved surface when parked on private property.

* * *

- Richard Leon (Incumbent): Yes. The community will get a chance to discuss the regulations in the next year when council begins to look at all of the Land Use Development Regulations. Should we allow Semi trucks to park in residential neighborhoods, absolutely not. But we should discuss what kind of working class vehicles we should allow in residential areas. If we should allow boats of a certain size to be parked in a driveway and if we should extend the length of time for RV's to be parked at your house. The demographics have changed since these regulations were first put in place and modernizing our laws gives us the flexibility we need to have a healthy city.

* * *

- Jennifer I. Nelson: Because our demographics are changing, there is a need to revisit the ordinance; however, the regulation part is difficult. We need to ask what defines a commercial vehicle? Where do we limit size and weight as I don't think residents want semis parked in their neighborhoods? We should consider size, weight, and the number of vehicles for boats and RVs too. I am always open to suggestions but this would need to be vetted by our residents. We could consider designating city owned property for these types of vehicles and charge a small fee like boat slip rentals. Not only would this help our residents, but it would also generate revenue for the city.

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DISTRICT 5 (General Election ballot only)

- James Schneider: This is a difficult issue, as so many of the people in Cape Coral are working with firms where they are "on call" and must bring the company logo marked vehicle home, otherwise there isn't the ability to service their customers. Campers/Coaches need to be on property at times. There needs to be some exceptions for those vehicles. What I strongly believe, and suspect most neighbors would agree with, is the issue of people leaving boat trailers/boats, vehicles on blocks, flat tires for some length of time, as examples. A no-fee permit for commercial vehicles to remain could be implemented.

* * *

- Dave Stokes: Many years ago in Cape Coral non-commercial pickup trucks were not allowed to be parked in driveways. At this time that ordinance has been changed to allow pickup trucks, however, the current ordinance regarding commercial vehicles and trailers being allowed to park in their driveways is still a frequent topic of discussion. In my 15 years of calling Cape Coral home I have talked to many people that feel passionately about changing this ordinance as well as leaving it alone. I will continue to ask residents for their opinions throughout the rest of my campaign and keep an open mind.

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DISTRICT 6 (General Election ballot only)

- John Karcher: I see no reason that a van can't be parked in a residential drive. Many of these vehicles belong to the property owners who may be a small business owner or for employees on call. I suggest we start with econoline size vans and see how compliance goes.

The vehicle must be in working order, have current tags, clean, and without major body damage. Signs or wraps should be allowed and must be in good taste. Limit it to one van per drive. THEY MUST BE IN THE DRIVE, not in the yard or swale.

Let's stop penalizing working people.

* * *

- Rick Williams (Incumbent): There are valid arguments on both sides of this issue. We should all want to maintain the appearance of our properties for attractive neighborhoods and higher property values, which means some reasonable restrictions. However, I would be in favor of revisiting the ordinance and consider some changes. I'm okay with continuing to restrict boat parking to behind homes. We may want to relax some restrictions to allow small home-based businesses to park commercial vehicles in their driveways, including cars, small trucks and vans with signs (but no ladders). I like the idea of designating and fencing a few pieces of property for larger commercial vehicles, trailers and boats with minimal parking fees. Times change. Let's work together to solve this!

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Important dates

PRIMARY, Sept. 12, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

* Voter Registration Book Closes - Closed Aug. 14

* Early Voting (primary election) -Sept 5-9;

- Lee County Elections Cape Coral Branch Office, 1031 S.E. 9th Place Unit 3

- Cape Coral Library, 921 S.W. 39th Terrace

- GENERAL, Nov. 7, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

* Voter Registration Book Closes, Oct. 10

* Early Voting (general election), Oct. 30-31 and Nov. 1-4

- Lee County Elections Cape Coral Branch Office, 1031 S.E. 9th Place Unit 3

- Cape Coral Library, 921 S.W. 39th Terrace

- Voter registration:

Applications are available online at www.leeelections.com, at all Lee County libraries, and other locations including Cape Coral City Hall at 1015 Cultural Park Blvd., Cape Coral Chamber of Commerce at 2051 Cape Coral Parkway, Department of Motor Vehicles offices, and all Lee County Supervisor of Elections offices including the one in the Cape at 1031 S.E. 9th Place Unit 3 A full list is available at www.leeelections.com.

 
 
 

 

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