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Big vehicles get grace period: Oversized vehicles face new parking restrictions in San Mateo
May 15, 2013, 05:00 AM Daily Journal staff report

Signs will be popping up soon in San Mateo that will detail the new restrictions facing those who drive oversized vehicles.

Motor homes, stretch limousines, junk trucks and other large vehicles will face parking restrictions on residential streets in the city after an educational “grace period” takes place in July.

Warnings followed by enforcement are expected to commence in September.

The City Council unanimously voted to amend city code after receiving complaints from homeowners associations for years, according to the Public Works Department.

During public comment at the council meetings, only one resident spoke out against the proposed changes.

“Throughout this community-driven process, we have attempted to gather input from a wide group of people of different interests,” Larry Patterson, director of Public Works, wrote in a statement. “We feel we have developed an ordinance that attempts to balance the need for safety with the need for folks to use their oversized vehicles.” 

The changes to municipal code will make some exceptions for recreational vehicles, which will be allowed to park on public streets for no more than 24 consecutive hours on street frontage immediately abutting the owner’s residence no more than twice during any seven-day period, according to the code amendment. The two 24-hour periods can be consecutive, according to the Public Works Department.

A section will also be added to the code to make exemptions to the parking restriction for wheelchair-accessible vans.

The amendments to city code define an oversized vehicle as being 7.5 feet tall; 7.5 feet wide from the widest portion of the vehicle, excluding mirrors; being 22 feet long in combination with any attached trailers; and exceed 10,000 pounds based on the manufacturer’s gross vehicle weight rating.

The ordinance restricts unattached trailers, regardless of size, from being left in the public right-of-way on streets that are zoned residential; and restricts boat trailers, with or without boats, from being left in the public right-of-way on streets that are zoned residential.

The on-street parking of large vehicles in residential areas has long been a source of neighborhood complaints for the city. The San Mateo United Homeowners Association approached the city in 2011 to address the problem.

Large vehicles take up valuable on-street parking spaces, create noise, block driveway access and potentially restrict visibility especially when parked close to an intersection, according to a staff report.

The city amended its municipal code in 1996 to prohibit commercial vehicle parking in residential neighborhoods but the city still gets numerous complaints, according to the Public Works Department.

To learn more visit or contact Sheri Costa-Batis of Public Works at 522-7334 or



Tags: public, vehicles, works, according, residential, parking,

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