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Independence Hears Complaints About Neighbor's Box Truck

A Cynthiana Court resident complained to Independence city council last week about a neighbor parking a box truck in that neighbor's driveway.

Brad Jones said that he did not want to pick on this person because of that person's line of work, and also called out another neighbor who parks cars in their yard, and another neighbor who parks an RV in a driveway.

"Why should the rest of us on the street have to look at it?," Jones asked, referring to the box truck. He said that sometimes one of the neighbor's cars partially block the sidewalk. "It is unsightly."

Jones requested that city council change the language in its ordinance and to ban any box or cargo trucks, or any vehicle with enclosed rear cargo compartments that extend over the cab.

He also requested a repeat-offender clause.

Councilwoman Carol Franzen said that the city would have to consider the relationship of the vehicle to the person's livelihood. She noted that her neighbor has a tow truck parked in his driveway, and she would not want to ban him from having his work truck in the driveway.

She expressed concern that the city would be wading into waters where they could be sued.

City attorney Jack Gatlin said that the city could regulate the size and weight of the vehicle, and noted that there are two ordinances currently on the books. One says that it is unlawful for any vehicle over a ton to be parked in a residential zone, and the other prohibits any vehicle in excess of 18,000 pounds or in excess of 39-feet in length.

The trouble could arise with work-related vehicles, Gatlin said.

Councilman Lucas Deaton asked whether other complaints had emerged in the city, but Jones's seemed to be the first.

It was brought up that the city might not want to put itself in the way of something that could be construed as personal.

Councilman Chris Vogepohl said that he would not want to look at a box truck on his neighbor's property, but agreed that it would be hard to know where to draw the line on a work-related vehicle.

Mayor Chris Reinersman said that he would let council members think about it and possibly revisit the issue.

In other business, council listened to the first reading of an ordinance annexing 4.12 acres in the Glenhurst subdivision. The line between the City of Independence and unincorporated Kenton County runs through the subdivision and puts half the neighborhood in a different jurisdiction. Glenhurst developers asked for annexation so that they could all be in the same city.

The subdivision is currently just empty lots. The Kenton County Planning Commission recommended approval of the annexation.

Council also adopted a resolution asking for the General Assembly to modernize the way gas tax funds are distributed for road maintenance and repair.

Mayor Reinersman said that the city receives about $500,000 but that does not cover even half of what the city has to spend, and he believes that the state should be sending closer to $1.2 million to Independence.

Reinersman also brought up the "colorful comments" on the city's Facebook page when COVID-19 information is shared. 

He said that he has been posting and reposting information that he believes needs to be shared about the pandemic, and he said that he wants people to have a source for good information, since there is a lot of bad information out there.

Reinersman said the comments have been questioning who is putting the information out there, and he said firmly that it is him. He said that either he is posting it or he is directing it to be posted, so he wanted to be very clear, that the decision to post the information is his and his alone. 

Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor

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