Brainerd council strikes down trailer parking restrictions

The proposed ordinance would have banned on-street parking for unattended trailers from November through March.

Brainerd City Council members discuss matters during their meeting Monday, May 15, 2023.
Theresa Bourke / Brainerd Dispatch

BRAINERD — The entire Brainerd City Council voted down proposed restrictions on trailer parking Monday, May 15.

During a public hearing on the issue, one resident spoke against a proposed ordinance that would have prohibited unattended trailers from being parked on the street from Nov. 1 through March 31.

Marshall Tousignant said he got a complaint from a neighbor years ago about a trailer he had parked on the grass on his property, so he now parks it on the street. If he’s not able to do that anymore, he asked the council where he can park his trailer.

Council President Kelly Bevans said the meeting was not the time to ask those kinds of questions, which can be directed to staff when City Hall is open. Monday’s public hearing was solely to give testimony for or against the proposed ordinance.

“OK, I’m against it,” Tousignant said.


The current city code allows for vehicles and trailers to be parked on the street for no more than 48 consecutive hours. At that point, they must be moved at least three blocks away and cannot return for another 48 hours.

City Engineer/Public Works Director Jessie Dehn told the council earlier this year unattended trailers — those that are not hitched to a vehicle — do not always follow those rules, creating hardships for street maintenance staff when sweeping or removing snow.

In the ordinance, unattended work or construction trailers would still be allowed on the street from November through March with a permit.

Council member Gabe Johnson said he would vote against the measure.

“This started out because we had problems down in the industrial park with UPS and some other businesses storing their business assets out in the public right-of-way,” Johnson said, noting the original intent was to get that equipment off the street and on to a business’s private property.

The ordinance in front of the council, however, he said would negatively impact those looking to move to Brainerd in the winter months with the assistance of a U-Haul trailer.

“And nobody knows that if they’re moving here. So let’s go ticket them; welcome to Brainerd,” Johnson said. “So I think this is addressing all trailers and everything in the city when there’s a very direct, finite problem that we were trying to address.”

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Council member Mike O’Day asked Johnson if he would support the ordinance if it had been limited just to the industrial park. Johnson said he would, and O’Day said he agreed.


While that limitation would bring its own challenges, like defining the boundaries of the industrial park, O’Day said he thinks that could be done.

The rest of the council followed suit, with all seven voting against the ordinance.

“That motion fails,” Bevans said. “We’ll, I’m sure, address that again at another time.”

THERESA BOURKE may be reached at or 218-855-5860. Follow her on Twitter at .

Theresa Bourke started working at the Dispatch in July 2018, covering Brainerd city government and area education, including Brainerd Public Schools and Central Lakes College.
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