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Every night David Tarrence parks his moving company trucks on E Street just west of 27th Street.

It's a great location, on a side street where there are no homes, where his company name and telephone number on the side of his trucks can be seen by thousands of drivers who use Capitol Parkway.

And it's perfectly legal.

But some of the neighboring business owners don't think Tarrence should be allowed to use the public street as his parking lot and get free advertising to boot.

A proposed ordinance before the Lincoln City Council would make it illegal to park commercial trucks more than 400 feet from their principal place of business.

"This is a question of fairness," said David Pauley, who owns property in the area.

People should park their trucks on land they own or lease, he said.

When you allow someone to park on city streets and have no business office, it "allows someone to operate a business property tax free."

Pauley and three other Lincoln businessmen spoke at a public hearing on the ordinance Monday afternoon.

But Tarrence was not at the meeting. He didn't know about the proposal to keep his trucks off E Street.

"It's Dave Pauley, right? He's been trying for five years to get us barred from parking down there. He thinks he owns that street," Tarrence said in a telephone interview Monday evening.

"And Jon Camp is the one that is pushing it," Tarrence guessed.

Councilman Camp said he requested the ordinance because property owners were inconvenienced by trucks parked far away from their business locations.

"People are parking large, logoed trucks around town at places of high visibility, where they detract from the visibility of legitimate businesses and are unregulated signage," said Wes Oestreich, who owns Cheever Construction, 926 S. 26th St. Oestreich pointed out that he parks his own trucks and equipment in a fenced lot.

Businesses that lease or own property are required to meet landscape and signage regulations, Oestreich said. "Mobile businesses don't abide by these same rules."

Pauley said the moving company trucks blocked access to semis that deliver goods to Ace Hardware. The trucks have to drive over landscaped areas to get in, he said.

Though no one mentioned Tarrence's Local Movers during the meeting, supporters said the ordinance was aimed at a specific business that parked trucks in their neighborhood.

Tarrence, who runs his business from his home, cannot legally park his trucks in his residential street.

But it is legal to park them on a street in a commercial or industrial area, as this one.

"They can't get us any other way, so they have to write a whole ordinance for the city of Lincoln to get us," Tarrence said.

"They are opening a whole can of worms" because the ordinance will apply to others, Tarrence said.

Council members did delay the public hearing for a week to take a closer look at the proposal for its potential unintended consequences.

What about a service truck that a driver parks at home overnight, or a grain truck that may sit for several days? council members asked.

Tarrence said he planned to show up at the council meeting next week to defend himself.

Tarrence said he and his crews spend money in the area, buying fuel and food.

"This is so ridiculous. I do pay taxes, just like you do … on truck licenses, property tax on my house."

And if he loses?

Tarrence said he would return to parking his trucks at a rental lot in south Lincoln, where they were before he discovered the great spot with a view from Capitol Parkway. 

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Reach Nancy Hicks at 402-473-7250 or nhicks@journalstar.com.

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