10 July 2007

Parking Clarifications

I somehow find myself looking through some city's municipal code once a month. So I wanted to see what Gus Morrison's parking concerns were based on. Sure enough, there's plenty to consider. Fremont's Municipal Code, Title VIII, Chapter 2, Article 20, Section 8, has the details:

  • Sec. 8-22003. Required parking spaces by type of use.
    (b) Business uses.
    (1) Entertainment and recreation:
    a. Theaters, auditoriums and sports arenas or stadia, including school auditoriums and stadia--For all fixed seating capacity, one for each four seats; theaters in shopping centers, one per three and one-half seats.
  • Sec. 8-22005. Location of required parking and loading facilities.
    (a) The off-street parking facilities required for the uses mentioned in section 8-22003 and for other similar uses pursuant to section 22011, shall be on the same lot as the structure or use they are intended to serve. When practical difficulties, as determined by zoning administrator, prevent their establishment upon the same or immediately adjacent lot, they may be located within 400 feet of the premises to which the parking requirement pertains, provided such parking area meets all other requirements of this Code.
  • Sec. 8-22014. Assessment districts for parking.
    (a) Exemptions. Whenever, pursuant to statute, public off-street parking facilities are established by means of a special assessment district, or by any other means which the city council may determine, all existing buildings and uses, and all buildings erected or uses established thereafter within the special assessment district, or other district which the city council may have determined, shall be exempt from the requirements of this article for privately supplied off-street parking facilities except as hereinafter provided.
Okay, so let's interpret. For a 32,000-seat facility, Section 8-22003 dictates that 8,000 spaces would be required based on the 4:1 ratio. Section 8-22005 requires that if the parking isn't in the same lot or adjacent (no on both counts), it needs to be within 400 feet. The Brandin Ct. lots and Christy Concrete plant are both at least 700 feet from the nearest gate.

It would appear that code almost mandates that the ballpark be built "in a sea of parking" so to speak, since the distance requirement could be highly restrictive. I haven't checked ADA regulations, but those will certainly come into play as well. We know that the sea of parking is not feasible given the village concept and housing needs, so there has to be more to it than that. Given the ballpark's schedule of events, parking will be needed 90+ days per year, or 1/4 of the year. Should that much parking be required for such a limited schedule? And how can it be beneficial to other users such as non-resident village patrons?

There's even one more detail that shouldn't be ignored. The concrete plant is shown as a 16.3-acre parcel, but only 10.3 acres may be usable due to the existence of a pond on that site. It's possible that the pond may not be developed because it's a habitat for migratory birds. These are wetlands, after all. Reduction of the site to 10.3 acres would reduce available land for parking, further pressing the need for a garage or the acquisition of additional nearby property, or both.

as I wrote previously, the map shouldn't be taken anything resembling a proposal or final plan. The devil truly is in the details.