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Truck driver wants variance to sanitize cab at home

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At the regular Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) meeting on June 22, 2021, Linda Allen, President of Hardcore Trucking appeared before the county commissioners to report that she has been in violation of code enforcement because she brings the cab portion of her tractor-trailer home to sanitize the inside.

The “cab” is the compartment that seats the driver and the sleeping compartment.  It does not include the usual 53-foot cargo trailer.

Allen stated in 2020, President Trump acknowledged her company’s sacrifice and invited her and her company to the White House for Independence Day.  But she’s been in violation of Hernando County’s code enforcement.

Allen made the following statement at the June meeting, “I park in my driveway for a few hours, to ensure the safety of not just myself, but my community that I serve. The intent of statute 162 of Florida Statute is to protect, promote and improve the health, safety, and welfare of the citizens. I am asking this board to authorize a variance from the terms of the ordinance due to special circumstances, under section 3 (162.03), appeals, and variances. COVID is a special and horrific condition that threatens us all.  The current and literal enforcement of the provisions of commercial vehicle parking … is resulting in an unnecessary and undue hardship.  I want to continue to serve my country and to serve my county and residents by providing the food that is needed, but hindered by an ordinance that will not allow me to properly… sanitize my truck.”

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In June, Allen asked the BOCC to allow for one 24-hour allowance of such cabs to be allowed to be parked in a residential district every 3-4 months.  This month, the BOCC started the discussion. At the October 12, 2021 Board of County Commissioners (BOCC) meeting, Assistant County Attorney Kyle Benda led the discussion, leading with rationale for the county’s legal involvement.

In a memorandum prepared by Benda, commercial vehicles are currently defined as, “(1) a “vehicle with a gross vehicle weight in excess of 10,000 pounds and utilized for commercial purposes”; (2) a “van with a width of more than eighty (80) inches and utilized for commercial purposes”; or (3) a “vehicle with a gross vehicle weight of less than 10,000 pounds that has been modified with a utility body, tank, or other similar commercial attachments, and utilized for commercial purposes.” 

Domestic vehicles containing signage such as used by a realtor or retail owner do not qualify as commercial vehicles. 

Personal vehicles weighing over 10,000 pounds also do not qualify as commercial. 

According to Code Enforcement Supervisor Frank McCabe the definition gets murky in the case of lawn companies. “Lawn companies are a good example.  They can have their dually in view, wrapped, but the trailer has to go behind a fence or out of view.”  

Commissioners are in agreement that the current ordinance makes sense, however, the matter is expected to come before the board again.

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