No changes are likely to Flossmoor’s long-standing restrictions on personal pickup trucks after village officials suggested a possible solution for a resident whose Ford F-150 was specially modified so that his wife can ride in her motorized wheelchair in the vehicle.
At Monday’s Board of Trustees meeting, Village Manager Bridget Wachtel said resident William Harrison can request a variance from Flossmoor’s zoning regulation prohibiting personal truck parking on driveways. He must appear before the village’s Zoning Board of Appeals to request the variance.
Harrison recently received a ticket for parking his truck on the driveway of his Cambridge Avenue home. At the March 7 village board meeting Harrison asked if there is any way he can continue parking his specially modified truck on his driveway. Both Harrison and his wife are disabled military veterans, he said, adding that he had no idea that Flossmoor prohibited truck parking until he received the ticket.
Flossmoor’s personal pickup truck parking restrictions have been in place for decades. The zoning ordinance states personal pickup trucks must be parked within enclosed garages. They are not to be parked on driveways. There are also restrictions on the size and type of trucks that are allowed on residential property.
Following the board meeting earlier this month, Harrison met with village staff, who informed him that he could seek the zoning variance. Scott Bugner, Flossmoor’s inspectional services administrator, said Harrison has been provided with an application for a variance. The next Zoning Board of Appeals meeting is on April 26.
Village Attorney Edward McCormick said seeking a variance from the parking regulations is the right step because the restrictions are part of Flossmoor’s zoning laws.
“When someone wants relief (from a zoning restriction), it’s appropriate to request a variation from the ordinance,” he said.
McCormick, who called Harrison’s truck a “special needs” vehicle, said he’d never before seen this type of request related to the parking restrictions.
When Harrison appeared at the March 7 meeting, some board members speculated that it might be time to reconsider Flossmoor’s truck parking restrictions. However, with an apparent resolution of Harrison’s unique situation, Mayor Paul Braun said Monday that there seems to be no need to change the regulations.
According to the village’s zoning ordinance, personal use pickup trucks are to be parked in garages except for when they are being loaded and unloaded. Trucks are not to exceed a weight of 8,000 pounds and can be no more than seven feet high. Dual wheels on the rear axle are not allowed and racked or staked bed vehicles are not permitted.
Flossmoor received national attention for its truck parking restrictions in 1989 after resident Jim Minx, an Illinois State Police trooper, received several tickets for parking his vehicle on the driveway. The controversy was covered by a number of media outlets including the New York Times, which published a story in November of that year.
In a legal case that lasted for a number of years, Minx filed a lawsuit against the village, claiming that his civil rights had been violated. Flossmoor ultimately prevailed in the lawsuit, assuring that the truck parking restrictions could remain on the books.
Originally, Flossmoor did not allow residents to park pickup trucks on their property. That restriction was changed in April 1989 so that personal use trucks could be parked in garages.