Brainerd council reviews on-street trailer parking regulations

City staff will draw up a draft ordinance that would prohibit the on-street parking of trailers between Nov. 1 and March 31.

Trailer on street - north Brainerd
Brainerd city officials are reviewing guidelines for on-street parking for trailers during winter months.
Theresa Bourke / Brainerd Dispatch

BRAINERD — This year’s record-breaking snowfall has meant no shortage of work for city plows, cleaning and clearing streets on a fairly regular basis.

One of the challenges presented this year, according to city staff, is unattended trailers parking along streets, creating difficult paths for plows.

During snow events that did not see enough snowfall to constitute snow emergency parking restrictions, City Engineer/Public Works Director Jessie Dehn said trailers have been not only a hassle to plow around but also create extra work for street crews, having to return days later to clean up the snow after the vehicle is plowed around.

This issue prompted a look into city code, with proposed amendments Dehn presented to the council Monday, April 17.

During Monday’s Safety and Public Works Committee meeting, Dehn proposed an ordinance prohibiting unattended trailers — those that are not connected to a vehicle — to be parked on-street between Nov. 1 and March 31.


Right now, city code states a vehicle, including trailers, cannot be parked on the street for longer than 48 continuous hours. At that time, a vehicle must be moved at least three blocks away and cannot return for another 48 hours.

Dehn also requested the council discuss changing that limit to 24 hours in the summer months.

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Committee Mike O’Day said 24 hours might not be long enough for someone who’s doing a demolition project or something of the sort and has a trailer or dumpster parked on the street for debris.

Dehn said the city could look into a right-of-way permit for those instances. The permit likely wouldn’t cost anything, he said, but would give city officials and law enforcement a heads up that a vehicle would be parked for a longer period of time.

Council member Tiffany Stenglein said 24 hours might not be long enough for someone who has a visitor with an RV or boat, which is typically what she sees in her northeast Brainerd neighborhood.

As the city operates on complaint-driven code enforcement, O’Day said he doesn’t foresee this issue coming up a lot in the summer because he doesn’t think people would complain in instances with short-term visitors.

“And when it does, it’s understandable if somebody’s family is around and they’re going to be gone next week,” he said. “I don’t think that’s going to be something that people complain about too much.’

“Unless they’re already fighting each other — it’s already a nasty neighbor issue,” Stenglein replied.


“Or if it’s your own family, and you want them gone,” O’Day joked.

Mayor Dave Badeaux said the 24 hour rule in the summer concerns him, especially because the city requires a parking pad for vehicles to be parked in yards.

“Where are we telling people to put their stuff then? And if we’re going to tell them to put it there, are we then going to hold them to the fact that they need a parking pad to place that vehicle as well?” Badeaux said, noting he doesn’t see a problem with someone who parks their boat in front of their house during the week and uses it on the weekends.

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“As a proponent of on-street parking, I want to make sure that we have solutions in place if we’re going to start looking at things like this,” Badeaux said.

O’Day said he would rather see a boat in a driveway or a backyard, but he realizes that does not work for every house.

Ultimately, council members directed staff to create a draft ordinance with Dehn’s proposed changes for winter restrictions without changing anything for the summer months.

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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