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Thread: Parking Calcs for Ice Skating Areas

  1. #1
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    Parking Calcs for Ice Skating Areas

    We have a proposal upcoming that proposes an outdoor skating area near the Town Common. The Planning Board has asked me to research parking requirements for such a use.

    Anyone have any good ideas where to start (other than ITE or the APA Parking PAS report which were dead ends)? Anyone in colder climates have a requirement for a skating rink in their ordinances or regulations?

    Thanks in advance.
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
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    G*d our code sucks. For public outdoor recreation facilities is says "refer to Plan Commission for determination". So on those grounds, I would pull a number out of my a$$ and say something like one spot per 3 capacity.

  3. #3
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    Sounds Familiar

    Direct quote from our zoning:

    Other Uses: Parking requirements shall be calculated for the closest similar use as determined by the Planning Board.
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  4. #4
    maudit anglais
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    We have parking requirements for indoor skating rinks (min. 1 space per 175 sq. metres), but not outdoor skating rinks.

    Outdoor rinks tend to be in parks, etc. Maybe you could use a park rate (if there is one, there isn't here). Seeing as the rink will be seasonal (right?), what will the land use be for the rest of the year? If this thing is in your town centre, and isn't going to be a commercial attraction, why bother with dedicated parking for it?

  5. #5

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    We don't have anything specific in our Code, but we have recently dealt with this one.

    We used a two-tiered approach with an indoor rink that is nearing completion. Based on similar facilities, we determined that their normal daily operations would required X spaces (I think about 30). They provided those on-site. Then, we looked at the 450 seats around the ice and required them to show that a total of 113 spaces (1 space for each 4 seats) are available either onsite or through recorded parking agreements with nearby property owners. In that way, we covered the anticipated daily use on-site and the special event use through shared parking. The rink is in the downtown, so there are also three public parking lots (about 200-250 spaces) within two or three blocks.

    In another instance, we have a seasonal outdoor rink on City property. The adjacent parking lot almost always has 15 or 20 cars in it. On a sunny Saturday afternoon in January, there might be twice that many cars. There is also a lot of use on weekend evenings (it is lit until 10:00 pm).

    Be sure and use local examples, though. The rink here doesn't have anywhere near the use that your's will. We don't have the big recreational hockey leagues that you do. Our users are mainly tourists and a small group of locals. Isn't there an outdoor town rink in North Conway, right on the common? It might be similar.

  6. #6
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    Originally posted by Bullwinkle
    We don't have anything specific in our Code, but we have recently dealt with this one.

    ....

    Be sure and use local examples, though. The rink here doesn't have anywhere near the use that your's will. We don't have the big recreational hockey leagues that you do. Our users are mainly tourists and a small group of locals. Isn't there an outdoor town rink in North Conway, right on the common? It might be similar.
    It's not proposed for hockey use, more of a family skating area. I've got inquiries out on the NH and NNECAPA mailing lists, but wanted to get a broader perspective here if I could.

    Thanks Lin.
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  7. #7
          Downtown's avatar
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    Tim - The closest we have is Commercial Recreation - 1 space per 2 persons max capacity. We don't have any reqs for straight recreation. Good luck!
    Kel

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Jeff's avatar
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    Originally posted by KMateja
    Tim - 1 space per 2 persons max capacity.
    I read a study done by someone from somewhere sometime ago, sorry! About how ITE and other parkign requirements actually encourage auto dependence. Those parking requirements sure seem like they do too.

    Parking is always a crappy subject. There really is nothing out there to use as a guideline. The ITE book is from like 1980 and had maybe 50 land uses? I actually called there once to see when they were updating it and they said it was in the works. That was years ago.

  9. #9
    Forums Administrator & Gallery Moderator NHPlanner's avatar
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    Originally posted by Mike DeVuono


    I read a study done by someone from somewhere sometime ago, sorry! About how ITE and other parkign requirements actually encourage auto dependence. Those parking requirements sure seem like they do too.

    Parking is always a crappy subject. There really is nothing out there to use as a guideline. The ITE book is from like 1980 and had maybe 50 land uses? I actually called there once to see when they were updating it and they said it was in the works. That was years ago.
    I agree Mike. ITE parking standards would essentially require us to pave over America to accommodate the "peak" demand times, while ignoring 95% of the rest of the time for parking demand.

    More details on my situation:

    Ice rink is proposed on land abutting the Town Common, on Town Forest land. It is located in the Historic District (and based on the HDC meeting last night...it's going to be a tough sell). The concept plan now shows 17 parking spaces, but the Planning Board Chair asked staff to research what the parking requirements should be. The Town Common does not have any parking right now, and a nearby church has indicated that their parking could be used, so long as it doesn't conflict with church services.

    My issue is that too many people in town would like to lean toward the ITE end of things, providing more parking there than we'd ever need.

    OK...rant over.

    Thanks Mike, Kelly, Lin, and Brian for your help so far!
    "Growth is inevitable and desirable, but destruction of community character is not. The question is not whether your part of the world is going to change. The question is how." -- Edward T. McMahon, The Conservation Fund

  10. #10
          Downtown's avatar
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    A couple of months ago Lowe's came in with a site plan that had this INSANE amount of parking. When asked by the Planning Board what their reasoning was behind the ocean of pkg, the applicant responded that although they would probably never ever use the extra 1/3 of parking, it was important to maintain the image that there was plenty of parking available, because if a lot appears too full, people won't want to go there. I thought they were joking at first. sadly, they weren't.

  11. #11
    Cyburbian nerudite's avatar
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    Originally posted by KMateja
    A couple of months ago Lowe's came in with a site plan that had this INSANE amount of parking. When asked by the Planning Board what their reasoning was behind the ocean of pkg, the applicant responded that although they would probably never ever use the extra 1/3 of parking, it was important to maintain the image that there was plenty of parking available, because if a lot appears too full, people won't want to go there. I thought they were joking at first. sadly, they weren't.
    Yeah... WalMart goes by this same standard. It forced the Portland Metro municipalities to set maximum parking ratios. I think it's become a common standard now.

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