Sumner will soon offer truck parking that will provide a new source of tax revenue for the town.
The city council voted unanimously to pass an ordinance June 4 that will allow private truck parking lots along the 24th Street interchange, as long as they are connected to a retail center. The council also approved a 15 percent tax on commercial parking revenue.
This ordinance has been a long time coming for local business owners, with plans and meetings on the idea going back to 2008. Community Development director Paul Rogerson called the ordinance “groundbreaking and unique,” as it is one of the only law of its kind in the region.
“This comes to you after really intense cooperation and participation in the process,” Rogerson said to the council. “Along with strong support from those property owners.”
Under the ordinance, truck parking will be allowed on lots connected to a retail space. The word “truck stop” is a forbidden term in Sumner. During the planning and design process, residents and business owners were worried that allowing truck stops in town, without a commercial purpose or with certain regulations, would lead to illicit activity.
Under the law, property owners can offer truck parking, but it can’t be more than 40 percent of their lot space, or 50 stalls. Property owners who want to offer more than 50 parking stalls must build a separate, enclosed area.
All parking lots must be secured, so there will also be a fee for truck parking. Trucks may not park longer than 12 hours – the turnover will create more revenue opportunities for the landowner and city. Some short-term parking could be allowed for trucks that want to stop for less than 3 hours.
There will also be regulations imposed on the truck parking areas that Rogerson called “probably the most strenuous landscaping standards in the city code.” They include planting trees to surround the property with a 3-foot-tall minimum. 50 percent of the trees must be evergreens, to create a screening effect. The goal is to create a “visually impermeable land buffer,” according to Rogerson.
City planners hope that gated lots with security patrols, dense landscaping, parking fees and new retail stores will bring profits to the city of Sumner and it’s business-owners, while keeping Sumner’s manufacturing district safe and aesthetically pleasing.
“We’ve spent a considerable amount of time on this and voted unanimously that it was a good plan,” said Sumner planning commission chair Kathy Hayden. “It’s a great addition to the city and our hope is that it will turn out as good as it looks on paper, and that it is as comfortable for people coming off the freeway as it will for truckers. It will be clean, beautiful and keeps the flavor we want.”