BYLAW: Parking Regulations
MUNICIPALITY: Amherst, MA
FOR MORE INFORMATION ON THIS BYLAW CONTACT:
Jonathan Tucker, Planning Director
4 Boltwood Ave
Amherst, MA 01002
PURPOSE OF BYLAW:
Comprehensive parking regulations for the town of Amherst including:
- Specific allotments based on use
- Design requirements
- Inclusionary requirements for handicapped parking and bicycle racks
- Criteria for waivers
TEXT OF THE BYLAW
7.00 In all districts except Educational Districts, off-street parking spaces shall be provided and maintained in connection with the construction, conversion or increase in units or dimensions of buildings, structures or use, such spaces to be provided in at least the following minimum amounts.
7.000 For dwellings including apartments - two (2) parking spaces for each dwelling unit. There shall be a maximum of two (2) cars allowed to be parked in the front set back of any property. Cars parked in the front set back shall be on a parking surface such as asphalt, gravel, trap rock, or a similar material.
7.001 For all other places with sleeping accommodations, including rooming houses, lodging or boarding houses, fraternity and sorority buildings, hotels, motels, inns, bed and breakfasts, hospitals, and nursing homes - one (1) parking space for each bedroom for single or double occupancy; or, where not divided into such rooms (as in a dormitory or ward) - one (1) space for every two beds. For hostels, one (1) parking space shall be provided for every five (5) beds.
7.002 For places of public assembly, including libraries, museums, clubs, restaurants, theaters, bowling alleys and other amusement centers, funeral establishments, trade schools and bus depots - one (1) parking space for each four (4) seats or, where benches are used, one (1) space for each eight (8) lineal feet of bench. Where no fixed seats are used (as in a museum), there shall be one (1) parking space provided for each 80 square feet of public floor area.
7.003 Religious and Educational Uses
7.0030 For places of public assembly for educational or religious use, one (1) parking space for every four (4) seats, or where benches are used, one (1) space for each eight (8) lineal feet of bench. Where standing room and/or seating on the floor is to be used, there shall be one (1) parking space provided for each 80 square feet of public floor area.
7.0031 For each meeting hall, social center or other similar place(s) of assembly used for religious purposes there shall be at least one (1) parking space for every four (4) seats. These parking spaces shall be in addition to the parking spaces required in Section 7.0030 only if there is substantial regular, concurrent use of the place(s) of assembly on the property.
7.0032 Dwelling place of a religious community. For each convent, monastery, or like dwelling place of a religious community, there shall be at least one (1) parking space for every three (3) bedrooms for single or double occupancy, or for every three (3) beds in group sleeping quarters.
7.004 For all retail, office and similar uses:
7.0040 In the B-G, B-VC and B-L (abutting B-G only) districts, and on any lot within a COM District that abuts a B-VC or R-VC District or is within or abuts a National Historic Register District - 3.3 parking spaces per 1,000 square feet of gross first floor area, plus 2.5 spaces per 1000 square feet of GFA (gross floor area), exclusive of storage space, on all other floors.
7.0041 In the B-L and COM Districts (exclusive of those areas cited in 7.0040) and the OP, PRP and LI Districts, the parking requirement shall be the sum of the following:
3.3 spaces/1,000 sq. ft. for the first 10,000 sq. ft. of GFA; plus 2.5 spaces/1,000 sq. ft. for GFA between 10,001-12,500 sq. ft.; plus 2.0 spaces/1,000
sq. ft. for GFA over 12,500 sq. ft.
7.005 For all other permitted uses, including veterinary establishments, day nurseries, farm stands, open lots sales or storage yards, building trades establishments, storage or distribution plants, office uses under Section 3.360, and all other commercial uses, adequate parking spaces to accommodate under normal conditions the cars of occupants, employees, members, customers, clients, and visitors to the premises.
7.01 Except in the Office Park (OP), Professional Research Park (PRP) and Light Industrial (LI) Districts, off-street parking spaces required herein shall be provided either on the lot with the principal use, or on any other associated premises within 800 feet. In the OP, PRP and LI Districts, all required off-street parking shall be contained within said Districts.
7.02 Within an Educational District, adequate off-street parking shall be provided so that neither curb parking on public streets nor parking on property outside the Education District shall be needed in connection with uses within the Education District.
The purposes of these design and landscaping requirements are to provide for: the safe and efficient flow of pedestrian and vehicular traffic; the separation of parking areas from abutting streets; visual relief from expanses of unbroken blacktop and vehicles; proper drainage and snow removal; and general visual enhancement of parking areas. Residential uses of four or fewer units shall be exempt from Sections 7.100 and 7.101.
7.10 Design Standards
7.100 Parking areas used for parking and vehicle maneuvering shall have grades not to exceed five percent slope.
Driveways used exclusively for ingress or egress or interior parking lot circulation shall have slopes not exceeding 12 percent except within 30 feet of the road, in which case the slope shall not exceed 5 percent.
7.101 Set back from buildings: except for parking within an enclosed structure, no parking space shall be located within eight feet of a building wall. No access aisle, entrance or exit driveway shall be located within five feet of a building. Loading docks are exempt from this requirement.
Parking areas shall be clearly delineated and shall be provided with a permanent dust-free surface and adequate drainage. Each parking space shall be at least 9 feet x 18 feet in size, and all parking areas must have adequate access and maneuvering areas. The Zoning Board of Appeals (SP) or the Planning Board (SPR) may allow, upon application, small car parking spaces (8 feet x 16 feet) to be substituted for up to fifty percent of the standard parking spaces. Compact parking spaces shall be designated by clearly visible signs.
Curb radii, driveway width, and other such dimensions shall comply with the "Street and Site Work Construction Standards", adopted by the Select Board, as such standards may be amended, unless otherwise specified in Section 7.1, Design Standards and Landscape Standards.
Ramps between parking areas of different elevations shall not exceed 12 percent slope, with a maximum 5 percent transition slope for a minimum length of 20 feet at the upper and lower end of the ramp slope. All parking plans involving ramps shall be accompanied by profiles showing the ramp, ramp transitions, and overhead and wall clearances.
7.103 Lighting: adequate lighting shall be provided for all parking areas of 10 spaces or more if these areas are to be used at night. Any illumination, including security lighting, shall be arranged so as to reflect away from adjoining properties and rights-of-way. Residential projects containing eight or fewer dwelling units are exempt from 7.103.
7.104 Entrance and exit driveways: for parking areas containing fewer than 5 spaces, the minimum width of entrance and exit drives shall be 10 feet wide for one-way use and 18 feet wide for two-way use. For facilities containing five or more spaces, such drives shall be a minimum of 10 feet wide for one-way use and 18 feet wide for two-way use. The minimum curb radius shall be 15 feet. The maximum width of such driveways at the property line shall be 24 feet. The permit granting board may modify these width and radius limitations to facilitate traffic flow and safety.
Driveways shall be located and designed so as to minimize conflict with traffic and provide clear visibility and sight distances for the observation of approaching pedestrian and vehicular traffic. No portion of the driveway at the edge of the street pavement shall be closer than 75 feet from an intersection, unless allowed by the permit granting board.
7.11 Landscape Standards
7.110 Parking areas of 10 or more spaces shall provide a minimum of 10 percent of the total parking area as landscaped open space (this may be included in the calculation of open space area under Table 3: Dimensional Regulation: Maximum Lot Coverage).
7.111 Parking areas of 25 or more spaces shall provide landscaped islands of a minimum width of four feet, with raised curbs, throughout the parking area for the purposes of: a) defining parking lot entrances, b) defining the ends of a portion of the parking aisles, c) defining the location and pattern of primary internal access drives, d) separating parking spaces within long rows of spaces, and e) separating some of the rows of parking spaces from other rows.
7.112 Screening: parking areas with 5 or more spaces shall provide effective screening of the parking area from adjacent streets or properties. Such screening may be accomplished by: depressions in grade 3 feet or more; a hedge or wall; or any type of appropriate natural or artificial permanent division. Any required screening barrier shall not be less than 3 feet high. Screening shall not be located to obstruct driver visions so as to impair safety at intersections or driveway entrances or exits.
7.20 Parking spaces required for one use shall not be considered as providing the required facilities for any other use, except as hereinafter provided. Any existing parking above 120% of parking otherwise required for all uses on a property may be shared or leased by right. Where existing parking spaces are more than 100% but less than 120% of parking otherwise required for all on-site uses, applicants for a Site Plan Review approval or Special Permit may request to share and/or lease the parking spaces, based on the following conditions:
7.200 Shared Parking: Where it has been demonstrated to the satisfaction of the permit granting authority that one or more of the following conditions is met:
7.2000 Parking spaces to be shared represent the difference between peak parking needs generated by on-site uses occurring at different times. This may include reductions in parking use resulting from employees, tenants, patrons or other parking users of the site being common to and shared by more than one different use on the site, and/or;
7.2001 Parking spaces to be shared represent the difference between current levels of peak parking utilization and anticipated lower future levels of peak parking utilization, said difference to be generated in whole or in part by a parking management 0roved by the permit granting authority. Said plan shall include and implement measures such as car and van pooling, bicycling and public transit. The permit granting authority may require periodic documentation of reductions in parking utilization realized as a result of the parking management plan.
7.201 Leased Parking: In the B-G, B-VC, B-L, COM and R-VC Districts the lease of spaces for on- or off-site uses shall be by Site Plan Review, unless otherwise required. In the R-G, R-N, R-F, R-O and R-LD districts, the lease of more than two existing parking spaces shall require a Special Permit, unless requested as part of a Site Plan Review application for an associated use on the property. Any lease of parking spaces for on- or off-site uses may only be permitted under the following conditions:
7.2010 The parking is suitably located in the neighborhood in which it is proposed, as deemed appropriate by the permit granting authority.
7.2011 Adequate and appropriate facilities, including but not limited to appropriate paving, landscaping, screening, lighting, curbing or wheel stops, are provided for the proper operation of the proposed leased parking. Special attention shall be paid to ensuring safe vehicular circulation on the site and at the intersection with abutting streets.
7.2012 The permit granting authority may require the preparation and submittal of a study to provide evidence of parking utilization levels.
Adequate off-street loading and receiving areas shall be provided for all business, commercial and industrial uses.
Notwithstanding the other provisions of this section, off-street parking spaces need not be provided for any Retail Business or Service Use (Section 3.35), any Commercial or Industrial Use (Section 3.37), or any Residential Use (Section 3.32) excepting fraternities, sororities, dormitory, hotel or motel, which is located within the "Municipal Parking Zone" as herein defined. The "Municipal Parking Zone" shall consist of that portion of the area now or subsequently designated as a General Business District, which lies within the following bounds:
On the north: Kellogg Ave., and an extension of its center line to the west;
On the east: Churchill St. and an extension of its center line to the north and south;
On the south: College Street and an extension of its center line to the west;
On the west: North and South Prospect Streets.
For regulations governing parking associated with accessory uses, see Section 5.15, Garaging or Parking of Motor Vehicles.
Parking spaces shall be provided for the physically handicapped according to the following table:
10-20 spaces 1 handicapped space
21-30 spaces 2 handicapped spaces
31-50 spaces 3 handicapped spaces
51-100 spaces 4 handicapped spaces
101 or more refer to Rules and Regulations of Architectural Barriers Board.
Parking spaces for the physically handicapped shall be designed in accordance with the Rules and Regulations of the Architectural Barriers Board of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Department of Public Service, as such standards may be amended. Handicapped spaces shall be clearly identified by a sign stating that such spaces are reserved for physically handicapped persons. The handicapped spaces shall be located in the portion of the parking lot nearest the entrance to the use or the structure which the parking lot serves. Adequate access for the handicapped from the parking area to the structure shall be provided.
For all uses classified under Section 3.3 that are required to provide, or do provide, 10 or more parking spaces, the installation of bicycle racks shall be required. The bike racks shall be designed to provide for the locking of the bicycles to the racks. The design, location and number of bike racks shall be approved by the permit granting board as part of an approval of the permit request.
7.80 Any section or subsection of Article 7.0, Parking Regulations, may be waived or modified by the permit granting board for compelling reasons of safety, aesthetics, or site design.
7.81 Parking space requirements under Section 7.0 may be modified when one or more of the following conditions are met to the satisfaction of the permit granting authority:
7.810 Peak parking needs generated by on-site uses occur at different times.
7.811 A significant number of employees, tenants, patrons or other parking users of the site are common to and shared by more than one use on the site.
7.812 A parking management plan approved by the permit granting authority is implemented with occupancy of the building or buildings. Said plan shall include the implementation of such measures as car and van pooling, bicycling and public transit use sufficient to reduce the need for parking. The permit granting authority may require periodic documentation of reductions in vehicle trips and parking utilization as a result of the parking management plan.