By NICOLE JONES
Friendswood City Council on Dec. 3 approved the first reading of an ordinance that puts restrictions on oversized vehicles coming through the city.
The move is a result of overweight and oversized loads that have been regularly coming through town, according to Deputy Police Chief Josh Rogers.
In October, a pair of oversized trucks sat on FM 2351, backing up rush hour traffic for hours as police tried to prevent the loads from entering downtown.
“It’s important to point out that transportation code regulates vehicle size and weight on farm-to-market roads like 518 and 528,” he said. “We have seen an increase in them and there are some provisions in the transportation code that allow us to send in a request for certain hours. That doesn’t have much teeth, so when they are out there they can follow that, or they can forget and there’s not much enforcement on it.”
The ordinance adds a peak traffic curfew, requires permitted oversized vehicles to contact the police department at least 24 hours before coming through and puts a maximum height restriction of 14 feet on loads on South Friendswood Drive.
The peak traffic curfew in particular came as a relief to city council members who have found themselves stuck 5 p.m. traffic due to an overweight load.
“I just got stuck for an hour, not moving one inch,” Councilman Steve Rockey said.
The resolution requires a second reading before it becomes final.
During that same meeting the council, with little discussion, approved a second and final reading of a measure changing 43 acres along the future Friendswood Lakes Boulevard zoned as single family residential to multifamily – garden home district. The site is part of a larger, 194 acre tract owned by Yellowstone Hill Country Ranching LLC.
The next meeting of the Council is set for Jan. 6.