City nixes parking ordinance

COVINGTON -- The Covington City Council opted not to pass the first reading of an ordinance prohibiting the parking of certain commercial vehicles in residential areas.

At Monday night's meeting, Councilman Keith Dalton said he's worried the ordinance could impact the livelihood of some city residents who drive their vehicles home.

In a follow-up interview Tuesday, Dalton said he thought it best to "put the brakes on" the ordinance.

"We're trying to slow down and take a look at it and make sure we're not penalizing hard-working people," he said. Dalton said he had heard from "quite a few" constituents who say their livelihoods could be affected by the ordinance.

The ordinance would have prohibited the parking of vehicles weighing more than 19,500 pounds or longer than 25 feet in residential areas, unless parked in an enclosed structure. It excluded government vehicles, such as school buses, and recreational vehicles.

But Dalton said he wants to prohibit parking of such vehicles only on the street.

"If they can get it in their yard, I don't have a problem with it," he said.

Mayor Kim Carter disagreed, saying construction equipment should not be parked in residential areas.

"I just don't think these types of vehicles have a place in a residential area," Carter said. "I think what we're looking at here is the greater good for the most number of people. I would urge you to think about the historic character of our neighborhoods."

Dalton also wants to strike two sections in the current ordinance: One that prohibits the parking or storage of any vehicle weighing over 2,000 pounds without an enclosed structure or to the side or rear of a residence unless the property is 3 acres or larger and another that requires vehicles of 2,000 pounds or less to be parked on concrete, asphalt or gravel driveways or parking areas and makes it unlawful to park on grass or dirt areas.

The ordinance will go back to the city attorney to be revised and is expected to be taken up by the council again at an upcoming meeting.

The council voted 4 to 2 not to pass the first reading, with Councilwomen Janet Goodman and Hawnethia Williams opposed.