A record crowd filled council chambers at Hesperia City Hall Thursday night, spilling out into the lobby and out onto the sidewalk outside.

Inside, members of the city's Planning Commission were discussing proposed changes to Hesperia's commercial truck parking provisions. The city council had previously discussed applying the changes to recreational vehicles as well, further bolstering the crowd size.

"Just by a show of hands," commission chair Stephen James said at the beginning of the meeting, "How many people are here to speak on the trucking ordinance?"

A forest of arms shot up into the air.

"That's what I thought."

City staffers estimate 400 people attended Thursday's meeting, a record for any meeting held at city hall and only possibly exceeded for the largest crowd at any city meeting by the 2004 meetings at Sultana High School discussing the proposed Timbisha-Shoshone casino project.

The crowd far exceeded the chamber's 179-person capacity, and the overflow audience listened and watched the meeting on closed-circuit television broadcast in the lobby.

"Now what we've all been waiting for," James said. "Item number six."

Hesperia has historically been the most truck-friendly of Victor Valley communities: Victorville bans truck parking altogether and Apple Valley prohibits it except on lots larger than 2.5 acres.

Among the proposed changes were ending the city's two-hour truck parking grace period, ending the city's little-used street truck parking permit program, requiring trucks and RVs to be parked in the back yard of residences, banning multiple trucks from being parked on a single property, prohibiting parking on adjacent parking lots and increasing the minimum lot size required for residential truck parking to 2 acres.

"We've got a lot of comments here," James said. "About three hours' worth."

A total of 112 comment cards were turned in, although only 49 people ended up addressing the commission during the four-hour meeting.

"What you're talking about is people's livelihoods," said trucker Otis Todd Davies.

"We don't live at Spring Valley Lake," said RV-owner Brian Campbell. "This is Hesperia: We're supposed to have more freedoms. ... Don't take the right for us to keep our RVs on our property."

"There's no need for a new ordinance," said Bob Corpe. "Change one guy's shift and enforce the current rules."

Hesperia Code Enforcement has had difficulty enforcing the current regulations because so many violations occur after-hours, Tom Harp, the city's Deputy Director of Development Services, told commission members prior to public comments.

According to Harp, 437 truck-related complaints were made to Hesperia Code Enforcement in 2007, approximately one of every seven complaints made last year.

"Anybody that's moved into this community," said Dave Green, "And didn't realize the trucking situation must have been blindfolded."

"My kids can barely find a job here for $6 a day," said trucker Gilbert Cantellano. "I think the city should be concerned with crime, gangs and crappy roads."

In the end, the planning commission recommended the city council end the truck parking permit program and to include recreational vehicles in the new trucking provisions, but recommended against ending the two-hour parking grace period, requiring truckers to park in the back yard, banning multiple trucks on a single property, banning parking on adjacent lots or increasing the minimum lot size required for truck parking.

Thursday's meeting follows a meeting of the City Council Advisory Committee in January. Their recommendations, and those of the planning commission, will be passed on to the city council when they hold a public hearing and vote on the proposals later this spring.

"This is by far not the end of the process," Harp said.

Beau Yarbrough can be reached at 956-7108 or at beau@hesperiastar.com.