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City Council Regular Meeting
Request to Amend the Zoning Code to Allow for a Reduction in Parking Space Requirements.
Kenneth C. Gillie, Jr.
Business Meeting: 12/04/2018
At their October meeting, the City Planning Commission instructed staff to investigate amending Chapter 41 entitled “Zoning Ordinance” of the Code of the City of Danville, Virginia, 1986, as amended, Article 8, entitled “Parking and Loading Requirements” to allow for reductions of parking space requirements.
On October 8, 2018, the City Planning Commission instructed staff to investigate options regarding the ability of the Commission to waive certain off-street parking requirements when issuing a special use permit. At that time, the Commission was considering a request for a special use permit for an auction establishment at 2179 South Boston Road. Based on the current Zoning Ordinance, the proposed use requires an increase in paved parking. To address future cases when certain or all parking requirements may be deemed unnecessary, staff has investigated a potential code amendment regarding such parking requirements.
Other municipalities across the country have also considered updates to their parking requirements. These considerations are typically intended to address goals such as the following:
Provide flexibility within the Zoning Ordinance;
Allow for more efficient use of land;
Encourage use of alternate modes of transportation; and/or
Anticipate future changes in transportation behavior and technology.
To promote the above goals, municipalities typically seek to uniformly reduce or waive parking requirements related to the number of required spaces. It is not common for a municipality to waive dimension or design standards. Neither is it common for a municipality to permit a Planning Commission to waive parking requirements of unique situations ordinarily considered by a Board of Zoning Appeals. Of those municipalities addressing the above goals, they have updated their Zoning Ordinances to incorporate policies such as:
Use of parking overlay districts in dense urban settings with public transportation, adequate public parking, and/or easily walkable spaces;
Not requiring parking spaces in historic districts or for historic structures;
Allowing shared parking between properties;
Placing maximum limits on provided parking for any one property or use;
Granting the ability of a zoning administrator to approve reduced parking requirements if a parking study indicates that such a reduction sufficiently addresses parking needs without adversely impacting nearby properties;
Reducing the number of required spaces based on nearby public transit or parking; and/or
Substituting bike parking or landscaped open space in place of a specified number of parking spaces.
According to Article 8, Sections B, D, E, and H of the Zoning Ordinance, the City of Danville currently permits four (4) exceptions to the number of required off-street parking spaces. These exceptions may only be used when specific criteria are met indicating less parking may be needed. The exceptions are as follows:
Ability of the Director of Planning/Zoning Administrator to reduce required parking when provided on a common location for two or more uses which occur at different times of day;
Ability of the Director of Planning/Zoning Administrator to approve reductions for mixed-used properties, if the applicant submits sufficient documentation indicating the impact;
Ability of the Director of Planning/Zoning Administrator to approve certain reductions according to specified criteria for properties used for a Multi-Family Dwelling, Duplex, Single-Family Attached Dwelling, or Furniture Sales establishment; and
Ability of the Planning Commission to modify handicap space requirements.
It is recommended that City Council adopt the attached Ordinance Amending Chapter 41 entitled “Zoning Ordinance” of the Code of the City of Danville, Virginia, 1986, as amended, Article 8, entitled “Parking and Loading Requirements” to allow for reductions of parking space requirements.
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