The Peñitas City Council approved an ordinance amendment last Wednesday that tighten regulations on traffic in town, both the semi-truck kind and the four-legged hoofed kind.
The latter of those amendments requires anyone wanting to drive animals through town on the hoof to apply for and receive a permit from Police Chief Roel Bermea.
The ordinance applies to stock like cattle, horses, mules, sheep and goats, though Bermea says the city really has ensuring the safety and orderliness of recreational equestrian trail rides in mind with the new language.
Occasionally, he said, those rides can be disruptive.
“We’ve had people do trail rides and not let us know, and then we start getting complaints about it,” Bermea said.
Anyone who wants to drive stock through Peñitas’ byways and highways will have to provide Bermea with their intended route, how they plan on controlling the stock and when they intend to hit the trail.
They’ll also have to show proof of event insurance.
The other ordinance amendment council approved last Wednesday tightens restrictions on tractor-trailer truck traffic in town.
According to Bermea, the new amendment restricts east and westbound semi traffic to Interstate 2, Mile Three Road, Mile Four Road and Military Road. He says it restricts north and southbound semi traffic to Tom Gil north of Three Mile Line.
“Basically they’re messing up the streets,” Bermea said. “They’re causing damage to the streets — they’re not built for heavy trucks, you know. We have gravel companies on Three Mile Line. They come out loaded with gravel, sand, whatever it is. It’s creating a problem, especially with Tom Gill. It’s creating potholes and whatnot in the street, because they’re too heavy for the road.”
According to Bermea, trucks with business or deliveries to make in town are exempted from the ordinance. It applies strictly to big rig trucks, and excludes vehicles like school buses, church buses, boat trailers and recreational vehicles.
Resident Peñitas truck drivers will also be able to drive into town, though they’ll have to register their vehicles.
The ordinance restricts the number of trucks they can register to two, and stipulates they be parked on private property rather than on streets, easements or alleys.
Bermea says his department plans to begin enforcing the trucking rules as soon as signage is up. Fines for violating the ordinance can run as high as $1,000.