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Thread: Use of on-street parking to help fulfill off-street requirements?

  1. #1

    Registered
    Nov 2002
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    Minneapolis, MN
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    Use of on-street parking to help fulfill off-street requirements?

    I'm developing a new zoning ordinance for a small lakefront community that is proving remarkably progressive on parking requirements. Some committee members actually suggested that off-street parking for locations "in the grid' -- in the older part of the city -- could be reduced based on the availability of on-street parking. Seems like a great idea, but I don't think I've ever seen an example of it.

    Of course, many cities, like this one, don't require off-street parking in their downtowns, but this would apply to other nonresidential and mixed use districts. Can anyone provide any examples or suggestions?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
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    We did it in two older downtowns. Basically we redlined an area and created a special zone, the text was basically

    Notwithstanding any other provison of this by-law a property zoned central commercial shall be exempt from the requirements of section ### with respect to the provison of on site parking.

    we also added a caveat that should a building be replaced and the new uses/floor area require additonal parking the owner would have to enter into an offsite parking agreement with the city.

    With the two pieces of enabling legislation I am familiar with, there are also provisons for collecting cash in lieu of parking spaces to help fund/develop municipal parking lots.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  3. #3

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    We basically do what donk summarizes. Our downtown P1 Overlay District reduces parking requirements for smaller buildings and allows payment of an in-lieu fee for off-site parking lots.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian boiker's avatar
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    West Valley, AZ
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    Although trying to adopt a code that allows for a much reduced parking requirement, our PW department does not want to dedicate or allow the counting of public on-street parking towards a private parking requirement.

    I'm considering to propose a study to the director to find out what the true parking lot loads are for any given "normal" shopping weekday and weekend. I badly want to establish parking maximums and reduce parking minimums. Possibly, we could build in "impact requirements" so that additional landscaping or performance regs can be enforced on lots that exceed a maximum size.
    Dude, I'm cheesing so hard right now.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian brian_w's avatar
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    Jan 2005
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    Kenosha, WI
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    We allow a 50% reduction in parking in our downtown area, and in our HarborPark redevelopment area, we have an overlay code that allows on-street spaces in front of that particular property to be counted towards the off-street parking requirements. Quite honesly, none of the developed parcels have utilized this benefit, but we are considering expanding it to the rest of our downtown area for sites that have no opportunities for off-street spaces and could use this break.

    I also like Donk's idea of a cash-in-lieu of dedicated for municipal parking facilities.
    You only need two tools: WD-40 and Duct Tape. If it doesn't move and should, use the WD-40. If it shouldn't move and does, use the duct tape.

  6. #6

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    Minneapolis, MN
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    [QUOTE=brian_w]We allow a 50% reduction in parking in our downtown area, and in our HarborPark redevelopment area, we have an overlay code that allows on-street spaces in front of that particular property to be counted towards the off-street parking requirements.

    Thanks all -- looking at the responses, I think this one comes closest to what the city is seeking. I may not have made it clear that off-street requirements are already waived for the downtown CBD; we need a provision that would appy to other commercial and mixed-use districts that have some on-street parking available.

    [Brian -- would I find your code on your city's web site?)

    Thanks again!

  7. #7
    Cyburbian permaplanjuneau's avatar
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    Jul 2004
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    Juneau, AK
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    Make them pay!

    Quote Originally posted by donk
    With the two pieces of enabling legislation I am familiar with, there are also provisons for collecting cash in lieu of parking spaces to help fund/develop municipal parking lots.
    We've got a bunch of tiny lots in our downtown that are currently used for off-street parking for neighboring uses. These lots are small enough that they can't be utilized for code-compliant parking (in terms of dimensional standards), and are often just packed (like sardines) with cars. The property owners would love to develop these lots with active uses, but can't afford to lose what little off-site parking they have (even in our reduced parking requirement overlay districts).

    I'm currently working with a wide-ranging coalition of developers, property owners, the DBA, etc. to expand our existing parking overlay districts in order to allow redevelopment of under-utilized lots and buildings, but it all comes back to parking--if we expand uses, and don't expand parking, our parking crunch gets worse.

    We've been talking for years about establishing a fee-in-lieu program, but if we charge developers the $40-50,000 per space that a downtown parking structure would cost (land prices here are insane, and the topography only makes construction more difficult), nobody can afford to develop anything anyway, even with parking requirement reductions.

    So now I'm trying to figure out how to create a special tax assessment district, or Business Improvement District, in order to provide a couple of parking structures on the edge of downtown (which is only about four blocks by eight blocks in size, so it's incredibly walkable). Can anybody provide me with examples of communities/codes/legislation that do anything like this? (Donk, what are the two pieces of enabling legeslation you speak of?)

    I'd like to draft whatever we adopt so as to treat existing structures with no parking equitably with new structures with no parking--that is, charge all of them the same, probably on a per-square-foot/per-dwelling-unit basis, so that we don't have to worry about how much parking is required for new uses--we'd just assess a given annual fee against each property and subtract X number of dollars for each parking space that they provide.

    On a related note, does anyone have experience with making the transition from an "everybody parks free everywhere" system to a market-rate parking system? As it is, business owners and employees, as well as office workers (yes, even Planning Dept. employees) park in one-hour on-street spaces and move their cars every hour to avoid tickets, rather than parking in the one long-term (pay) parking structure downtown. This means, of course, that the long-term spaces are always empty, and people who actually want to shop, dine, or visit offices have to drive around in circles for ever to find short-term parking (which is, of course, free).

  8. #8
    Cyburbian
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    We allow for no parking within our historic core, then the ring around that, but still downtown, has reduced parking requirementsj based on the structure's GFA, but everywhere else the parking requirements are based on the use/square footage, and we don't count on-street parking. If there's a lot of it and it's readily available, we take it into account for our overall recommendation, but since every business/resident has access to it, it doesn't count in the overall parking space count.
    As far as downtown parking and pay parking lots go, we have several very cheap parking garages related to a downtown shopping area. The shopping area, and cheap parking (something like $2 for 3 hours except events), went a long way towards our downtown's revitalization--something to think about. There's almost always parking that's easily accessible and cheap, so the excuse for going to the suburbs instead of downtown for shopping/entertainment is almost eliminated. And most downtown employees get free parking in one of the many garages.
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