Commercial vehicles on Soldotna streets face $100 fine

After multiple postponements following its October introduction, the Soldotna City Council passed an ordinance prohibiting commercial vehicles on city streets Wednesday.

The ordinance calls for a $100 fine from violators but allows for exceptions when vehicles are making deliveries, pickups or providing services that require travel on a city street.

The ordinance originally called for prohibiting commercial vehicles from certain city streets, however it was determined city code would need to be updated for the ordinance to be accurate.

The council postponed the ordinance to allow for code updates to street definitions to be made, which the council also did when it passed a separate ordinance to amend city code for streets, sidewalks and public places at its meeting.

“What we finally ended up doing with the ordinance is just prohibiting all commercial traffic on all city streets,” City Manager Mark Dixson said. “Simply because when you get into city streets, there are not arterial streets that we have that are actually city streets.”

He said the only arterial roads, which have high traffic volumes, in city limits are state roads — the Kenai Spur Highway, Kalifornsky Beach Road and the Sterling Highway.

Dixson said enforcement of the ban would most likely be complaint driven by residents.

The second and last public hearing item the council took up was an ordinance to amend the city’s street codes.

According to the ordinance, the last time the code was revised was twenty years ago and that many of the specifications are out of date or are not flexible enough to allow for positive city development.

Dixson outlined some of the changes to the code for the council.

He said previously the code did not state that alleys are not city maintained, so that prevision was added.

Residential streets were changed to local streets because local better defines the streets that provide direct access to residences and businesses and have limited through-traffic, Dixson said.

Throughout the code “minimum right-of-way” was changed to “recommended right-of-way.”

“We’re trying to allow some leeway in the design so that our city engineer and our city planners can properly plan streets that are being proposed as to the development that’s necessary that exists presently and that they would anticipate in the future,” Dixson said.

Also included in the code is the allowance for the city engineer to determine whether to adjust recommended right-of-ways depending on the intended present use of the street and possible future use.

Kaylee Osowski can be reached at kaylee.osowski@peninsulaclarion.com.

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