Engines running low before Flossmoor’s big truck referendum

  (Stock photo)

The little law that made big news all over the country will be called into question again soon. On the Nov. 6 ballot, Flossmoor residents will vote on a referendum question asking about the village’s ban on visibly parked pickup trucks.

On its website, the Village of Flossmoor outlines the existing ordinance — which prohibits trucks with “B” license plates from being parked in driveways — along with the proposed idea for changes.

Here’s how the referendum question will appear on the ballot: 
“Should the Village of Flossmoor consider permitting a Class B truck or van (8,000 pounds or less) or a vehicle with specialty plates of a similar size as a Class B vehicle to park on a residential driveway so long as the vehicle is not used for commercial purposes?”

Voting ‘yes’ means a resident is in favor of allowing people to park non-commercial passenger trucks in Flossmoor residential driveways.
Voting ‘no’ means a resident wants the ordinance to stay the same, prohibiting truck parking.

This is an advisory, non-binding referendum question meant to survey residents’ opinions. The result of the vote will not by itself change the ordinance and the possibility exists that no action may be taken.

Based on the result of the vote, the village board could request a review of the ordinance by the Flossmoor Plan Commission. The commission would conduct a public hearing and discussion and then hold a formal vote on an ordinance change.

If the plan commission approves the ordinance amendment, it will send the issue back to the village board for discussion and a final vote to either enact the revisions or strike them down.

Flossmoor Village Board members decided to revisit the issue after a group of residents, led in part by Luke Lambert, presented a petition in favor of changing the pickup truck ordinance. Lambert said he finds the regulation elitist and out-of-touch with the times.

With the vote just days away, Lambert has been quiet on the issue. He said he deliberately decided to take a backseat in the debate, especially because the referendum question is non-binding.

“Initially I was gung-ho about being pretty loud and vocal about the issue,” Lambert said. “I have been approached by, and had a couple of conversations with, people I trust in the community who cautioned me about pushing the issue because it could be really divisive.” 

Flossmoor is a small town, he said, and the advisors encouraged him to keep things “neighborly.”

Early on, Lambert collected more than 250 signatures on a petition to ask the village board to review the ordinance. He said the board took issue with the petition because it did not include signers’ addresses, leaving no way to confirm their Flossmoor residency.

Lambert, who manages a digital advertising agency, also reached out to several local automobile dealerships in hopes of gaining support from businesses that sell the types of trucks he was fighting for. 

They told him, “We agree with you, but we don’t want to take a public position.”

Lambert will cast his vote in favor of changing the ordinance, but said he doesn’t really know what the results will be.

“No matter what the referendum says, I hope the board will take a look at (the truck restrictions) anyway,” Lambert said.
 

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