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Pickup owners may face new $350 fee

Owners of pickup trucks would have to pay a new $350 annual fee to park in front of their homes under a plan to be discussed by Evanston City Council members Monday.

In addition to targeting light trucks that carry “B” plates, the new fee would also be imposed on passenger cars with fleet or “FP” plates.

Only vehicles that did not have attachments to the front, sides or rear would be issued the permits. Forbidden attachments would include a plow, trailer or side ladder.

And, no more than 200 of the new permits would be issued. That would accommodate about 20% of the B-plate vehicles that now pay Evanston’s wheel tax.

Interim Administrative Services Director Michael Rivera says issuing permits to more B-plate vehicle owners “could cause significant congestion” on certain residential streets.

The proposal from city staff is the latest round in a months-long effort to develop a solution that would let owners of light trucks and persons who drive fleet-owned cars home from work park on residential streets overnight without having the curb clogged with commercial vehicles .

The current city ordinance bars overnight parking of commercial vehicles on mostly residential streets and wherever signs are posted indicating that parking is for passenger vehicles only.

Vehicles with company logos on them are most likely to get tickets, but under the existing ordinance the absence of logos doesn’t make it legal for the designated types of vehicles to park overnight.

The proposed ordinance would also create a $30 parking permit fee for passenger vehicles that have commercial markings. Passenger cars whose only commercial marking was a small sticker for a ride-sharing service would not be classes as commercial vehicles.

The new permits would be limited to one vehicle per residential address.

Some council members have favored loosening the existing rules to let people park work vehicles in front of their homes, but others have objected to the proposed changes, saying streets in their neighborhoods already are congested with commercial vehicles.

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