Commercial Parking Changes in CodeNEXT

It’s complicated. Like everything in CodeNEXT. But there may be some good news for local businesses depending on where you are located and how your property is zoned. It will take a bit of research on your part to find what your new parking rules will be but here are some links and information to help you.
CodeNEXT’s changes to parking can be summarized as requiring less parking yet prescriptive in the location of parking spaces.  Some of the specifics, however, are not as straightforward as in today’s code.
Number of Parking Spaces
• Parking requirements are determined by zoning category (check your zoning), size of the retail space, as well as by use.  In contrast, today’s parking is determined by use only.
• Main Street (MS), for example:  Restaurants, retail, offices and bars require no parking if a business (not structure) is smaller than 2,500 sq. ft.  Zilker Neighborhood Association has compiled a helpful chart for all zones.
• If a property lies within a Regional Center zone, it will require no parking.  Regional Centers are indicated on the Imagine Austin map and include downtown.
• In addition, there are maximum parking restrictions for some zones, including developments over 10,000 sf in Main Street (MS).
• Commercial uses are eligible for additional cumulative reductions of up to 40% for reasons such as location in the “urban core,” providing a shower at work or providing additional bicycle parking.
Parking Placement
Placement of parking spaces is very prescriptive.
• Creates requirements for setbacks
• If parking does not meet these requirements then parking is possibly nonconforming although this is not clear like with structures and uses
• Below is an example from the requirements for MS2C.
ADA Parking
If no parking is required, such as for businesses less than 2,500 sf, then ADA parking is not required.  This fact was affirmed by the city’s Legal Department.
This is the third article in a series to help you better understand CodeNEXT.