Palm Beach County Commissioner Tackles Zoning Issue Between Truckers and Code Enforcement

People residing in areas of unincorporated Palm Beach County, such as Loxahatchee, believe they have been under a code enforcement crackdown and are tired of it.

“Code enforcement has been harassing a lot of us. They have taken the time to go area by area,” said resident Natalia Melian. Melian says her husband makes his living on the road and parks his 18-wheeler on their property. According to Melian, property owners with large-scale trucking businesses are getting hit with hefty fines by code enforcement.


Sara Baxter

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“They’re getting violations starting anywhere from $150 a day to up to $1,000 a day, which for me, honestly, it’s a little bit ridiculous,” she said.

“We were told by code enforcement officers, ex-county Commissioner Melissa McKinlay, that we could have up to two commercial vehicles of mine, semi-trucks with trailers. Now, all of a sudden, we cannot have (them) anymore,” said Melian.

Melian joined more than 250 people in a town hall meeting at Seminole Ridge High School Wednesday night, an event by newly elected Palm Beach County District 6 Commissioner Sara Baxter to discuss confusion on the current rules while finding a balanced solution.

Baxter told CBS12 News that she is reviewing allegations of unfair code violations.

“People have felt they have been in compliance for decades; to learn that they are not was a surprise to them. We need to clarify some things in the code.”

People have felt they have been in compliance for decades; to learn that they are not was a surprise to them. We need to clarify some things in the code. Click to Tweet

Currently, county zoning allows only one commercial truck to be stored on the property, but the size is limited to 12,500 pounds and 26 feet long. The most common trucks, however, are larger than what is permitted.

“Why say semi-trucks are allowed when no semi-truck weighs less than 12,500 pounds? That’s where it gets confusing,” Baxter said when speaking about the current zoning rules at the town hall meeting.

Baxter is using some common sense and wishes to address the problems of the citizens she works for, Baxter told Florida Jolt,

“We need to take a balanced approach to how we address these ordinances. They require different perspectives.”

“Loxahatchee and Acreage residents moved there for no HOA and freedom of usage on their property.”

“We need to find a balance when setting the parameters for the area.”

“The first step in our approach needs to be clarifying the definition of commercial vehicle and also distinguishing between heavy and light commercial vehicles.”

“I enjoyed getting feedback from the residents on what they would like to see happen.”

-Sara Baxter, Commissioner.

Other residents argue they do not want commercial trucking activities operating next door to them.

“If we allow tractor trailers parking, more will come. Many current residents will leave because they do not want a big rig next door, then more trucks move in, and the acreage becomes industrial,” Pia Skoran said during public comment.

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Commissioner Baxter says this will be discussed during a regular zoning meeting with county leaders scheduled for Thursday, March 23rd, at 9:30 a.m.

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