The Planning Commission was informed of proposed changes in the city's parking regulations by Planning Director Jeff Kaiser in special session on Monday.
Kaiser said the main purpose of the regulations is to assure adequate off-street parking and storage in the city.
According to Kaiser, some of the proposed changes will involve shared parking and land banking for parking as well as the visual impact of parking lots.
Other changes, Kaiser noted, may involve the amount of required guest parking in residential neighborhoods and regulations concerning driveway locations relative to abutting properties as well as the number of allowable curb cuts per residential lot.
Parking of vehicles that weigh over 16,000 pounds may also come under scrutiny. At a July meeting of City Council's Safety Committee, the problem of large vehicles parked on residential and collector streets was discussed. A large skid loader on a trailer hitched to a dump truck in the driveway of a private residential street was used as an example at the meeting. Multiple residents complained about the situation and, even though the person had been asked to move it, the vehicle kept reappearing.
The number of required parking spaces for businesses may also be changed. This change may come with a list of categories of businesses and the expected spaces to be occupied by each type of business. Kaiser did admit the city's requirement for parking spaces is higher than for most communities.
Drive-thrus under the present code are required to have enough space for 15 waiting cars to stack up. The proposal requests that number be reduced to four.
Even though some businesses want to add more parking spaces than the required amount, the city frowns on this because it creates more impervious surfaces. However, if a business wants to exceed the maximum number of spaces, there is a possibility that the Board of Zoning Appeals may grant a variance to allow it.
Parking in front yards was also discussed. Parking on grass is currently prohibited. The proposal is that no more than 25 percent of the front yard can be used for parking.
After taking into account suggestions of the commission, the proposed changes are expected to land on the commission's agenda soon.