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City considering eliminating parking requirements for historic structures


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#1 Austin55

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Posted 06 September 2019 - 05:05 PM

Makes nothing but sense IMO. Most historic structures were built before parking requirements ever existed. This should also help preserve the surroundings of existing buildings and make a few renovations more feasible. 

 

 

 

City staff have identified a conflict between the City’s historic preservation requirements and minimum parking requirements in the Zoning Ordinance. The purpose of historic preservation is the protection and enhancement of historic structures, sites, and districts to promote the economic, cultural, educational, and general welfare of the public. Parking requirements often run counter to the purpose of historic preservation. In many cases, meeting parking requirements cannot be achieved without making significant changes to structures and sites. For example, in the case of a block of commercial buildings, meeting minimum parking requirements could only be achieved through extensive alteration or demolition of historic properties. Because parking requirements have a potential adverse effect on the character of a historic district or property, staff are proposing a minor amendment to the Zoning Ordinance to eliminate parking requirements for properties designated Historic & Cultural Landmarks (HC) and Highly Significant/Endangered (HSE), or listed in the National Register of Historic Places

 

https://fortworthgov...DA-CBD953B1011C

 

 



#2 rriojas71

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Posted 07 September 2019 - 08:49 AM

This is a great idea. I know several business people that have proposed businesses along N. Main between Northside Dr. and the Stockyards that pulled out because they were required businesses to haveparking spaces that are non-existent.

#3 Austin55

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Posted 07 September 2019 - 03:13 PM

This is a great idea. I know several business people that have proposed businesses along N. Main between Northside Dr. and the Stockyards that pulled out because they were required businesses to haveparking spaces that are non-existent.

 

I believe a denied storefront on N Main is actually the catalyst of this whole thing. I think it eventually passed.



#4 rriojas71

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Posted 09 September 2019 - 11:25 AM

 

This is a great idea. I know several business people that have proposed businesses along N. Main between Northside Dr. and the Stockyards that pulled out because they were required businesses to haveparking spaces that are non-existent.

 

I believe a denied storefront on N Main is actually the catalyst of this whole thing. I think it eventually passed.

 

I know the business you are talking about...  they are just North of Into the West in a small building near the outside plaza.  They have remodeled the space and the outside patio and initially wanted to do an event space.  Then they said if they couldn't do that then they would open a coffee shop.  Both plans failed because they didn't have the parking spaces.  Glad to see that they are going to be able to do the business they had planned.



#5 Austin55

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 12:38 PM

ST article on the subject

 

https://t.co/DtGZVq9z4x



#6 txbornviking

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 01:04 PM

Ban Parking Minimums



#7 ACE

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Posted 15 September 2019 - 08:26 PM

I'm with txbornviking here. This is a great step forward, and needs to be implemented city-wide. Well nationally really, but that's for the US Architecture forum.

#8 roverone

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Posted 16 September 2019 - 08:18 AM

I think you could only do that if you simultaneously did something to keep overflow parking from overwhelming residential neighborhoods.

 

I also think there could be the possibility of a commercial renter not completely understanding the potential effects of the deprecation of customers arriving in private vehicles.

 

I don't want to give the wrong impression, I think it makes a lot of sense for historic structures, but I'm a little wary of trying to change transportation habits for broader projects from this direction.


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#9 Austin55

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Posted 16 September 2019 - 04:02 PM

Parking minimums exacerbate the issue they try and help. By forcing more space in between buildings reserved for parking they create greater separation, leading to longer travel distances and making travelers more inclined to drive.  This is fine in suburban areas obviously, but I don't think parking minimums belong in downtowns, urban villages, near transit rich areas, or historic districts. 



#10 roverone

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Posted 16 September 2019 - 05:12 PM

You make a great point about how the individual parking minimums could spread things physically apart.

 

Maybe there needs to be some transportation and parking formula that includes availability of publicly available parking along with the availability of public transportation within some defined walk distance of a commercial building.

 

Maybe that could encourage areas to work together to meet the needs of access and avoiding congestion or freeloading.  Pay for area parking garages or pay into some fund that supports public transportation for that area.

 

It is interesting to think about these problems of getting people from place to place in similar terms to getting data packets from place to place for internet content, and who pays for what, and how the idea of net neutrality fits in.


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#11 ACE

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Posted 16 September 2019 - 05:57 PM

Rover one, I'm not arguing that there shouldnt be parking available. That's slightly different. I'm saying that local governments arent equipped to best determine the optimum amount of parking a given establishment has.

I don't think a 500 unit building far from trails or transit would do very well if they didnt construct some kind of parking. But I do think that a 500 unit complex can best determine *how much parking* they want to build a cording to their market and budget without city government determining one-size-fits-all regulations. And I say this as like a pretty liberal guy. Parking is a scarce resource and we should let the economics of it develop more organically. Let businesses decide how much parking they want to invest in.

To your other point, I agree that cities across America and fort worth especially need to add more breadth and depth to their transit assortment. If we stopped assuming that parking downtown was free, or limited, and we citizens had reliable alternatives, then citizens could rely on them instead of requiring acres and acres of the empty, unsightly parking lots which encases our downtown.

#12 John T Roberts

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Posted 16 September 2019 - 05:58 PM

Roverone, these are some interesting ideas.



#13 roverone

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Posted 16 September 2019 - 08:23 PM

There are all of these layers of users to be considered: there are citizens who want to get places, and the city who has to build and manage street infrastructure and public transportation, and the commercial developers who are building the properties and their parking, and the business operators in those commercial developments who want those citizens to visit their business for commerce.

 

It is that last step that I wonder about:  sure, some businesses have the luxury of building their own facilities and having some understanding of the parking they think is appropriate; but it could also be that the developer building the property doesn't have a deep understanding at the start because they don't know what the tenant mix will be like, or that might change over time.

 

I don't know how a city could know any better than a developer, but perhaps a city could represent citizens in ways that are not purely financially motivated as a developer might be inclined with their responsibilities.

 

Everything about getting someone from one place to another has a cost, and of course that includes making a place for empty vehicles to sit idle while their drivers are doing something else (that includes the cost of the garage or carport or driveway at home).  I don't know how to share those costs in the most fair way.

 

It doesn't seem right that someone can put in a very popular business and not contribute to the capital cost of parking facilities and either crowd a residential neighborhood or choke out a publicly accessible parking lot.  Even if we try to say the parking fee should cover it, or the bus fare should cover it; the reality is that parking garages and public transportation are both capital-intensive things to build and take a long time to pay off; if ever.  It happens that you see such things built just on their own, but that is more rare -- parking is normally built, even for-pay parking, in support of some other endeavor that is generating more revenue; whether that is an office building or a shopping center.  Same with public transportation -- it is not particularly built to turn a profit, or even pay for itself, but rather to support the other aspects of the city.  Of course, I know there are exceptions.

 

I'd like to see a way to distribute the costs of bringing people to businesses in a fair way.  Requiring parking was one way to make businesses pay for one part of the expense of getting them from where they were to the place to do business.  Only paying for the cost of hosting the empty idle cars is not much, but it's more than nothing.  It is probably also antiquated, and so we probably need to figure out better ways for businesses to pay their fair share of the costs.



#14 roverone

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 06:21 AM

Now that I've slept on it, how about this:  by whatever means is currently used to calculate minimum parking requirements, put a value on each of those parking spaces, and allow optional alternative investments:  a commensurate donation to public transportation; or an enhanced bus stop if they happen to be on a route; or perhaps a contribution to a neighborhood rideshare depot of some sort; or facilities that support practical bicycle use; or a neighborhood parking area.

 

I want the businesses that profit from people getting from one place to another to cover their fair share of the cost instead of citizens carrying all of those costs.

 

Again, there are analogs with internet traffic and how that works.  The proper balance of how much you pay for your connection and how much Netflix pays for their connection and who is getting the benefit.  Netflix (and similar) is a reason people have an internet connection, but Netflix is profiting from it.  And I'm sure there is also an analog of net neutrality in here too; to not let the big guys choke out a diversity of options (I think the city particularly has to keep this in mind)



#15 txbornviking

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 07:15 AM

Here's a little article by Donald Shoup that discusses the concept and use of "in-lieu" fees as a replacement to building parking

 

http://shoup.bol.ucl...FreeParking.pdf



#16 roverone

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 09:05 AM

Great article -- thank you.



#17 hipolyte

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Posted 20 September 2019 - 08:02 PM

I remember reading an article about 'Quality Hill' where a variety of beautiful mansions once stood on the bluff, which are now mostly replaced by parking lots... was it city required parking mandates that required demolition of all of them to support the churches and offices that moved in there? Or was that just one of many factors?



#18 Austin55

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Posted 20 September 2019 - 08:09 PM

My understanding is that downtown has never had parking minimums since zoning was introduced to Fort Worth after WWII. I'm not sure where the boundaries of downtown have always been drawn, I'd guess parts would be outside.

#19 renamerusk

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Posted 20 September 2019 - 08:13 PM

Churches are among the most wasteful use of land for parking by that they only need the vast amount of parking for an average of 4 hours on Sundays and about 2 hours on Wednesdays.

 

On the 5 other days of the week, their parking lots only add to urban heat and rain runoff.



#20 txbornviking

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Posted 23 September 2019 - 08:23 AM

Churches are among the most wasteful use of land for parking by that they only need the vast amount of parking for an average of 4 hours on Sundays and about 2 hours on Wednesdays.

 

On the 5 other days of the week, their parking lots only add to urban heat and rain runoff.

 

my potentially controversial take on this would that a church's property tax exemption should only extend to the build structures and not to the surface parking lots, especially those on a separate lot from the build structures



#21 Urbndwlr

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Posted 29 September 2019 - 09:11 PM

I remember reading an article about 'Quality Hill' where a variety of beautiful mansions once stood on the bluff, which are now mostly replaced by parking lots... was it city required parking mandates that required demolition of all of them to support the churches and offices that moved in there? Or was that just one of many factors?

The two churches downtown that have massive surface parking lots fronting major streets (FUMC and First Pres) both think the visibility of their buildings provided by huge surface parking lots in front of their buildings, are very important.  This is based on various conversations I've had with involved members of those churches over the years.  Hopefully they will both abandon those absurd suburban-style philosophies and either develop the lots themselves or allow them to be developed by others at some point.  Its simply bad urban design to keep surface parking lots at intersections such as West 7th and Henderson. 



#22 John T Roberts

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Posted 29 September 2019 - 09:31 PM

Hipolyte, I'm not real sure of the answer to your question.  All I can remember around First Presbyterian are the surface parking lots.  However, I can remember that at one time there was only a small amount of surface parking around First Methodist Church.  At one time, the lot to the south only extended half way to 7th and it did not go all the way west to Henderson.  Florence St. went through.  The block to the west was not parking when I was a kid.



#23 Austin55

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Posted 29 September 2019 - 09:37 PM

Another thing to keep in mind with the church lots they aren't subject to taxes, which surely lessens the motivation to sell.

I've heard the same as well though. In particular one of the big churches was in NYC years back and was taken aback by how the churches there are surrounded by buildings.

#24 RD Milhollin

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Posted 29 September 2019 - 09:53 PM

In other countries the spaces in front of churches are public spaces, plazas, etc. that can be used for various outdoor functions. These spaces are typically "indoored" by being surrounded on the other sides by public and quasi-public buildings, often with related functions. These churches mentioned would do well to consider how their property might be put to higher uses by developing more of a community space in front of their edifices. The city and county could encourage this introspection by taxing church (temple, mosque, synagogue, etc.) owned parking lots in the same way that church owned businesses are taxed. Surrounding the "plazas" in front of the major paces of worship downtown with complementary businesses in buildings owned by the institution, built over underground parking structures paid for over time by the rents on businesses located above, should make sense. Suburban churches should have to comply with zoning rules that require them to establish shared-parking arrangements with retail/office/shopping centers that are not open during the church parking surge. 



#25 txbornviking

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Posted 30 September 2019 - 07:56 AM

"Hopefully they will both abandon those absurd suburban-style philosophies ...."

until the tax status of the surface lots changes, sadly I don't foresee any change in the mentality. And until there is a true change in the overall makeup of our city council, this is unlikely to happen.

 

Changing parking privileges PLUS raising taxes PLUS "attacking" Christian churches would be like grabbing the proverbial 3rd rail in a rainstorm.

 

I got some rubber gloves and a rain slicker!






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