The Flossmoor Plan Commission gave its approval Thursday for changing a longstanding ordinance that bans Flossmoor residents from parking pickup trucks in their driveways.
Commissioners voted 4 to 1 to recommend that the Flossmoor Village Board adopt an amendment outlining new regulations that permit pickup-truck parking with some restrictions.
Part of their recommendation included that the restriction of 8,000 pounds or less be changed from a vehicle’s gross weight to its curb weight to allow more flexibility.
Several residents spoke in favor of the change during a public hearing prior to the vote, and one resident spoke against it.
The hearing followed a Nov. 6 referendum which resulted in 3,266 voters, or 62.59 percent favoring lifting the ban and 1,952 voters, or 37.41 percent, indicating they were against the change.
Village Attorney Kathleen Field-Orr said the amendment will go before the Village Board by its Jan. 7 or Jan. 21 meeting, and if passed it would likely become law before Feb. 1.
Resident David Dreyfuss said the parking ban impedes people from moving to the community.
“I think it’s about time that Flossmoor come into the 21st century,” Dreyfuss said. “We’re only one of a couple of villages in the United States that don’t allow trucks to be parked in driveways.”
Warren Savage, a bricklayer who has been living in Flossmoor for five years, said he told village officials that his work truck did not fit into his garage, and their response was that he needed to tear it down and build a bigger structure — an option he could not afford.
“When I had a Ford F-150, I had to back it in and it touched bumper to bumper, and you had to let the door down real slow,” Savage said. “The Lord blessed me and allowed me to get a 2017 (Ford) Lariat; now it’s four inches bigger and won’t fit into the garage.”
Andre and Denise King, who have lived in Flossmoor a year and a half, said they were also told to build a bigger garage for Andre’s work truck, but they had to improvise because they could not afford it.
Denise King said they did not realize they could not park a truck in their driveway until six months after they moved in when they started getting parking tickets.
“(The tickets) made it an inconvenience for my family because then he had to park his truck at work,” she said. “I had to get up every morning, dress the baby, take him to work, come back home, take (the baby) to daycare and take myself to work. That’s still ongoing.”
Sylvia Tufts, a Flossmoor resident of more than 30 years, said she doesn’t like how larger vehicles look when parked outside in a community, but she also understands the frustration others feel when they have limited parking options.
“It really, in my artistic sense of beautification, takes away whatever beauty the community might possibly foster,” Tufts said.
The amendment would allow a Class B truck or van (8,000 pounds or less) or a vehicle with specialty plates of a similar size to park on a residential driveway, excluding commercial vehicles.
Other conditions would include that the vehicle is not designed to carry more than 10 passengers and that there are no items in the bed of the vehicle unless covered (cover must be designed for/fitted to the truck).
The vehicle also must have no more than four wheels, be no taller or wider than eight feet and have no part of its exhaust system installed above its frame.