NewsPalm Beach County


Truckers protest parking ordinance for residential properties

'We need help. We need to be heard,' Natalia Melian says
Posted at 11:37 PM, Dec 19, 2022
and last updated 2022-12-20 12:14:11-05

PALM BEACH COUNTY, Fla. — Residents living in western Palm Beach County are fired up over a parking ordinance that centers around big rigs and other large commercial vehicles on residential property.

On Monday, more than a hundred farmers, truckers and landscapers joined in solidarity to protest against Palm Beach County's Code Enforcement.

Natalia Melian is leading the charge.

"We need help. We need to be heard. We're the majority out here," Melian said.

She and her husband own a local trucking company and claim their livelihood is in jeopardy without being able to park their trucks at home.

"If I have to take the truck out of my house, we're talking about, I have to take it to a yard where there are no available yards anywhere," Melian said.

Since 2019, homeowners in Palm Beach County are only allowed one commercial vehicle, but it can't exceed 12,500 pounds and can be no longer than 26 feet high. A recent enforcement crackdown has led many business owners to raise thousands of dollars in fines.

"Our fines were in excess of $300,000, which were rescinded to zero, and then they are starting it again with threatening of fines," Neil Elkin, owner of Earth and Turf Landscaping Inc., said.

The group maintains the code enforcement isn't just hurting businesses and families who own recreational and multiple commercial vehicles.

The calls for change have since caught the attention of state Rep. Rick Roth, R-West Palm Beach. He and residents are now calling for a temporary moratorium to stop the fines and have county leaders revisit the issue.

"Now is not the right time to crack down on them. They're starting to enforce regulations that they changed a couple of years ago," Roth said. "It's really causing people to have to move off of their property. These people are using their property — to whether they're a nursery grower or a commercial trucker — they're using their own homesteaded property in order to facilitate their business."

Plans for a second rally are in the works for next month and will be held outside the county's code enforcement office.