How to Park Commercial Vehicles in Residential Areas

By Lily Leung - Updated March 16, 2018

Commercial vehicles play an undeniably important role in our everyday lives. A commercial vehicle is any vehicle used for business or for profit, and excludes personal vehicles. This broad category captures everything from delivery trucks to tow trucks and semi-trailers. Commercial vehicles transport food to our grocery stores and come to our rescue when our cars have broken down, but when they're parked for a stretch of time on residential streets, these vehicles often become the focus of neighbor complaints, safety concerns and even legal disputes. If you own and operate a business and you're not sure what the commercial parking rules are in your area, ask the local municipality or police department.

Tip

Commercial vehicles are typically not allowed to park in residential areas, according to most local zoning and parking rules. But if you're not certain, always ask your local police or city officials for the exact regulations for your area.

Parking a Commercial Vehicle in a Residential Area

Residential parking areas are designated as areas where people live and so cannot be used for commercial or industrial purposes. Also, local municipalities typically make their own parking rules that are intended to address potential safety concerns, including blocked sidewalks and restricted visibility. Oversized vehicles can also block access for emergency responders. The city of Los Angeles, for example, bans all vehicles longer than 22 feet from parking in residential areas. In Nevada's Clark County, commercial vehicles cannot park on residential streets overnight for either storage or visiting purposes.

Exceptions Apply

Commercial vehicles are generally allowed to park in residential areas if the driver or any passengers are loading or unloading goods to a building, or if the vehicle is part of a call for service, including repair or remodeling.

How HOAs Regulate Commercial Parking

Homeowners Associations usually have the power to enforce parking restrictions on the private streets within their master-planned communities, based on state law. But for the most part, they have zero authority over any public streets, inside or outside the borders of their HOA. For private streets, HOAs are allowed to set and enforce parking rules for residents and nonresidents, including banning trucks and other commercial vehicles from residential streets. They also have the authority to fine violators and to tow vehicles. If you don't know the parking rules for your HOA, consult the CC&Rs, which clearly spell out rules and restrictions in your community.

About the Author

Experienced writer and editor based in Southern California.

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