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Thread: Maximum parking requirements

  1. #1
    Cyburbian IlliniPlanner's avatar
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    Maximum parking requirements

    Can anyone provide a good model for parking maximums? Or point me in the right direction? We're rewriting our Zoning Ordinance and establishing parking maximums seems to be the route to go when I see our grocery and retail parking lots so empty and expansive. Our downtown is also taking off and we don't need more surface parking than retail/residential/office space. Any assistance would be appreciated.
    One lot of redevelopment prevents a block of sprawl.

  2. #2
    Cyburbian Masswich's avatar
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    Cambridge, MA

    Cambridge, Mass. is always the example pointed to around here. They have parking maximums, and their zoning ordinance is on their web site at

    http://www.cambridgema.gov

    I think there are also some parking maximums in Boston but that is complicated by the fact that their zoning system is so unique.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian zman's avatar
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    Sorry nothing here. We plan for the 100 Year Parking Event.
    You get all squeezed up inside/Like the days were carved in stone/You get all wired up inside/And it's bad to be alone

    You can go out, you can take a ride/And when you get out on your own/You get all smoothed out inside/And it's good to be alone
    -Peart

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    Quote Originally posted by zmanPLAN
    100 Year Parking Event.
    OOOooo.... I like that I'm gonna use that

  5. #5
    Cyburbian Plan-it's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by zmanPLAN
    Sorry nothing here. We plan for the 100 Year Parking Event.
    ZMan...that is a great quip, you may want to trademark that before everyone steals your thunder.
    Satellite City Enabler

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    Google "San Francisco Cityscape." There was a LENGTHY debate about this issue in December. The City of San Francisco was considering severe limitations on new parking garage spaces in the new condo towers planned for the central city. Even beyond the issue of parking lots per se, they were concerned about the link between easy parking and every growing numbers of cars.

  7. #7
    moderator in moderation Suburb Repairman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by zmanPLAN
    Sorry nothing here. We plan for the 100 Year Parking Event.
    That is one of the funniest things I've read as a serious planning statement in a long time. You've got 15 minutes to trademark or I'm officially stealing it!

    This is something that we've been wanting to do in our City and probably will when we redo the property development article of our zoning ordinance.

    There are plenty of larger jurisdictions like Portland and some others that have lots of alternative transportation options, so they've established max parking thresholds. However, not everyone has that luxury. I think there are a few smaller jurisdictions up in Vermont and NH that have done this type of thing.

    You could use something simple like the total number of parking spaces may not exceed, say, 10% of the minimum parking regulation. I pulled that percentage out of my ass, so you want to take a hard look at what your current minimums are and how much you feel comfortable tacking on top given the traits of your City.

    "Oh, that is all well and good, but, voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country."

    - Herman Göring at the Nuremburg trials (thoughts on democracy)

  8. #8
    Cyburbian IlliniPlanner's avatar
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    Many thanks for your suggestions!
    One lot of redevelopment prevents a block of sprawl.

  9. #9
    Member Wulf9's avatar
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    Victoria Transportation Institute has some suggestions on shared parking. If parking is nonexclusive, you can reduce the number by a certain percentage based on weekday, weeknight, and weekend uses.

    http://www.vtpi.org/tdm/tdm72.htm

    Also, parking is usually based on the 10th or 15th busiest day of the year. Traffic engineers have that type of information. I'm pretty sure that is a bell curve. You could use the 20th busiest day or the like (you will have to search for parking 20 days of the year).

    Finally, for downtown, get as much shared parking (public parking or parking available to all businesses) as possible. If there is a good mix of uses, you can meet parking requirements with 50% less than the composite required parking.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally posted by IlliniPlanner
    Can anyone provide a good model for parking maximums? Or point me in the right direction? We're rewriting our Zoning Ordinance and establishing parking maximums seems to be the route to go when I see our grocery and retail parking lots so empty and expansive. Our downtown is also taking off and we don't need more surface parking than retail/residential/office space. Any assistance would be appreciated.
    Maximums may be the answer but what's the problem? Sounds as though development is out of scale. Can you encourage division of commercial property and integration of parking while imposing maximums to create communities of business?

  11. #11
    Cyburbian hilldweller's avatar
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    We actually have the problem of a lack of parking in parts of our city. Every developer wants to max out his site and sell off all of the outparcels. When we see the site plans for these places they have parking calculations for lesser uses and then restaurants and medical offices get built, and people end up parking in the swales and such. Only Wal-Mart plans for the 100-year parking event- big ups to Zman on that one

  12. #12
    Cyburbian abrowne's avatar
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    http://www.vtpi.org/tca/tca0504.pdf

    Not model, but justification. Might be useful.

  13. #13
    Cyburbian IlliniPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by hilldweller
    Every developer wants to max out his site and sell off all of the outparcels.
    Another thing we want to avoid where they realize that the parking lot is underutilized so they want to parcel is out and sell it to another developer. Then the entire site ends up hurting, especially if visibility for existing tenants becomes a factor when the outparcel is developed.
    One lot of redevelopment prevents a block of sprawl.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian thinknik's avatar
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    The town of St. Augustine, Florida does not require parking in any of its downtown historic districts.

    Parking requirements were removed in order to avoid the demolition of old & historic structures to fulfill parking requirements. It has worked very well to that end.
    The down side is that it has caused parking compression problems in those areas.

    The City is currently building a municipal garage, multi-modal facility with transit and a visitor orientation center at the outside of the historic districts to create more inventory.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian
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    my only suggestion from the developers perspective is please include your local community economic development entity, chamber of commerce, retail businesses, or whatever...in your evaluation and drafting of any parking ordinances.

    Sorry, but nothing hurts a suburban retail center more than the perception that parking and access is a nightmare.

    And yeah, site planning your development for the day after thanksgiving may not be the best idea.....

  16. #16
    Cyburbian IlliniPlanner's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by gkmo62u
    my only suggestion from the developers perspective is please include your local community economic development entity, chamber of commerce, retail businesses, or whatever...in your evaluation and drafting of any parking ordinances.
    Or even taking the approach where we allow the developer to propose how much parking they need rather than mandating how much is required by ordinance? The developer may need less than what the City requires. I've seen quite a range of parking requirements for retail space in other communities, anywhere from 3 to 6 parking spaces per 1,000 square feet of space.
    One lot of redevelopment prevents a block of sprawl.

  17. #17
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by IlliniPlanner
    Or even taking the approach where we allow the developer to propose how much parking they need rather than mandating how much is required by ordinance? The developer may need less than what the City requires. I've seen quite a range of parking requirements for retail space in other communities, anywhere from 3 to 6 parking spaces per 1,000 square feet of space.
    That's not a bad idea, but the code should at least have a maximum. I believe that most developers and their potential tenants know quite well how much parking they need, and will provide it, if the market requires it.

    The concept of required minimum parking, I believe, is an outdated concept. Something that was needed when development wasn't so auto-dependent.
    I'm sorry. Is my bias showing?

    Let's not be didactic in this profession, because that is a path to disillusion and irrelevancy.

    Six seasons and a movie!

  18. #18
    Cyburbian thinknik's avatar
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    It was suggested that cities "allow the developer to propose how much parking they need rather than mandating how much is required by ordinance."

    That's pretty much how they use PUD's around here and so in every case we end up "negotiating" items like parking against mass, scale and aesthetics (or any combination of).

  19. #19
         
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    Quote Originally posted by IlliniPlanner
    Can anyone provide a good model for parking maximums? Or point me in the right direction? We're rewriting our Zoning Ordinance and establishing parking maximums seems to be the route to go when I see our grocery and retail parking lots so empty and expansive. Our downtown is also taking off and we don't need more surface parking than retail/residential/office space. Any assistance would be appreciated.

    Seattle was working on lowering the minimums in residential neighborhoods with good transport. I don't know where that is anymore.

    Have you read some of Don Shoup's book "the high cost of free parking" maybe part of your solution would be to make sure the existing parking is priced properly -- and learn something from the case study about old Pasadena.

    Cheers

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