The Buellton City Council discussed prohibiting semi-truck parking along McMurray Road at its meeting Thursday night.
Buellton City Manager Marc Bierdzinski said the issue has been discussed by previous councils, which chose not to prohibit parking in the area.
The city council asked staff to bring the issue back in light of the development of the Crossroads hotel — developers have expressed concerns about the noise from the semi-trucks.
Bierdzinski said prohibiting parking without an alternative could impact businesses that rely on truckers.
He said the city sent a letter to the owners of Motel 6 and Pea Soup Andersen's to discuss semi-truck parking areas.
Several citizens spoke during public comment and expressed concerns about the safety of having semis parked along the road.
Susan Perry, who lives in Vineyard Village, said the trucks are creating a dangerous situation because there’s a lack of visibility when she pulls into the street in her car.
After the hotel is built, she said there will be three times as many cars pulling out.
“This greatly increases the potential of an accident occurring,” Perry said.
She was in favor of adding no parking signs in front of the Vineyard Village complex.
Chris Atkinson, with Pacific Property Partners, said his company understands the plight of the truckers, but that it would be a difficult task to convince guests to pay money to stay at the future hotel with the trucks parked out front.
“Our concern is naturally when we’re investing $35 to $40 million dollars and trying to bring in hotel brands that we feel are going to be compliment to the city and the community,” Atkinson said. “It’s going to be a problem for us with trucks parked out in front and the aesthetics of that.”
Councilor Art Mercado said he saw both sides of the issue.
“They (truckers) serve a great value to the valley and to everywhere,” Mercado said.
He said he walks the area and acknowledged it was congested.
“So I think if we can get Motel 6 to give us an alternative it’s something we need to look at,” Mercado said.
Councilor Ed Andrisek said he’s an advocate for the trucking industry that has historically come to the area.
“Here’s the conundrum we’re in, we’ve got a small parcel where two hotels have been approved. Now they’re entitled to their use of the hotel but to say that other people are making noise, it is their livelihood,” Andrisek said. “I think where I’m coming from is we're inviting more people to come to the same amount of space without a justification or a solution.”
He said he didn’t want to bring more stress to the trucking industry.
“The reality is if we’re going to allow more places to have more vehicles, they have to park somewhere,” Andrisek said.
Mayor Holly Sierra said she believes the city can find a solution.
“Even if the truckers paid a $10 charge to park in the parking lot and sleep in their trucks,” Sierra said of providing parking near Motel 6.
She asked Bierdzinski to look at finding parking on the southern end of McMurray Road.
“We have some incredibly good things going on in our town,” Sierra said. “We want the trucking to continue in our town, but we need to find a place to park them.”
Bierdzinski said talks with Pea Soup Andersen's were in the works.
“I think that’s consensus from the council to work on as many options as we can to see if we can get something in place,” Bierdzinski said.