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Proposed commercial parking restrictions could cause hardship
Covington council to discuss parking, housing ordinances
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Covington resident Martha McGiboney believes the city’s proposed restrictions on parking commercial vehicles in residential areas will hinder her son’s ability to make a living.

McGiboney’s son is a semi-truck diver who regularly commutes two hours north to Dalton and has no personal vehicle. Under the city’s proposed parking ordinance semis are restricted, as are delivery trucks, drilling trucks, flat-bed tow trucks, welding trucks, lift trucks, medium-duty dump trucks, semi-truck cabs and any large trailers.

"This is the livelihood for this family. Plus, it may be the only means of transportation to get to their jobs," McGiboney told the council at its Sept. 8 meeting. "The people driving and operating this equipment put in some long and hard days that most of us can’t begin to comprehend. They should have the same privilege as the other working citizens."

The latest draft of the ordinance would prevent certain commercial vehicles from parking outside of residences or on public right-of-ways in these zonings, NR-1, NR-2, NR-3, CR and TCR. All construction equipment and any commercial vehicles that have a gross vehicle weight of more than 19,500 pounds, which is a class 5 rating; are longer than 25-feet or would be longer if towed by a truck; or require a commercial driver’s license, would be prohibited under the ordinance.

The ordinance has been developed in part because of complaints by residents on Forest Drive, where one resident has been keeping a flat-bed car carrier and another one has occasionally kept construction equipment at his house. Government owned and operated vehicles and those stored in permanent enclosures would be allowed.

"What is the greater issue here? The eye-sore for the neighbor, or the livelihood of the other neighbor," asked McGiboney.

No changes have been made based on McGiboney’s concerns. The ordinance is scheduled for a first reading at Monday’s Covington city council meeting at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall; an hourly work session always precedes the meeting at 5:30 p.m.

Also on Monday’s agenda is a first reading of an overlay ordinance for the Walker’s Bend subdivision which would place strict development regulations on new construction and require homeowners to maintain their property.

The council is also expected to sign an operating agreement with The LPA Group, the new airport engineering consulting firm, and to appoint Croy Engineering as a second airport consulting engineering firm.

Finally, it will discuss and potentially vote on adopting the recent changes made by the Newton County Board of Commissioners to the county’s animal control ordinance. The county provides animal control services to cities in Newton County, and the city council is being asked to adopt the amendments made by the county.