Coon Rapids code changes on driveway width, parking delayed

Action by the Coon Rapids City Council on two proposed code changes have been delayed until its July 17 meeting.

The code changes were introduced in ordinance form by the council June 5, but the council wanted to discuss the staff and Planning Commission recommendations further at a work session before considering the ordinances for adoption.

At a work session last week, the consensus of the council was to make a change in the ordinance that was proposed to increase the maximum driveway width in LDR1 and LDR2 residential zoning districts.

Specifically, the council wanted to remove the LDR1 zoning district from the ordinance altogether, according to Planner Scott Harlicker.

Lots in LDR1 districts are larger than LDR2 and the council wanted to look at other options, Harlicker said.

And before adopting the second ordinance, which would limit overnight truck and trailer parking in commercial and office districts, the council wanted staff to address how it would be enforced and who would receive the violation notice – the property owner or the truck owner, he said.

These proposed changes are part of a continuing process of updating the city’s zoning and property maintenance codes to ensure they are consistent and supportive of each other, according to Harlicker.

Currently, the code allows parking in front of the garage and side yards only on an improved surface, which includes asphalt, concrete or pavers, Harlicker wrote in a report to the commission.

“The maximum driveway width (36 feet) often precludes widening the driveway to provide access to these accessory off-drive parking areas,” he wrote.

Under the proposed code change, the maximum drive width would increase from 36 to 40 feet or 50 percent of the lot width, whichever would be less.

If the lot is less than 72 feet wide, the property owners would still be allowed a 36-foot wide driveway.

The maximum width would be measured between the front of the garage to 20 feet from the front of the garage and would include the off-drive parking area.

Under the recommendation, the maximum driveway width at the street right of way would remain unchanged at 24 feet.

Instead of the current requirement that the off-drive parking areas be finished with asphalt, concrete or pavers, the commission, as part of its recommendation, would allow stone materials.

The other proposed code change would affect overnight parking of trucks over 26,000 pounds gross vehicle weight, semi-tractors and/or trailers in commercial and office zoning districts.

According to Harlicker, the city has noticed an increase in the number of large trucks, semi-tractors and trailers using shopping center parking lots for long-term overnight parking.

“This practice has negative impacts on the city and the shopping center,” Harlicker wrote in a report to the planning commission.

The proposed code change would affect the office, general commercial, community commercial, neighborhood commercial, Riverdale transit and regional shopping zoning districts.

Peter Bodley is at [email protected]