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Summary on Front Yard Parking

Background, summary, and scenarios for front yard parking in the IDO (Integrated Development Ordinance)

Background

  • In 2007 there was a Task Force on Front Yard Parking that resulted in an amendment to the Zoning Code. The Task Force and amendment aimed to address three things:
    • Where should people park in the front yard setback area?
    • What is an appropriate surface to park on?
    • How much of the front yard area can be used for parking?
  • The IDO carried over regulations on where, what, and how much. But there have been significant challenges with enforcement on properties built prior to 2007. The amendment to the IDO added language to the Nonconforming Uses section to clarify how to enforce front yard parking on those properties.

Read the PDF document.

Summary of Front Yard Parking in the IDO

  • In the front yard setback, parking for low-density residential development (i.e. single family detached and townhouses) is only allowed on a driveway or drive aisle.
  • A driveway or drive aisle must be a stabilized surface (i.e. concrete or compacted gravel / crusher fines).
  • The size of driveways and drive aisles is limited relative to the size of the lot:
    • Front yard parking areas on lots greater than 5,000 square feet are limited to 400 square or 60% of the front yard setback, whichever is greater.
    • Front yard parking areas on lots less than 5,000 square feet but more than 2,200 square feet are limited to 400 square feet or up to 75% of the front yard setback, whichever is greater.
    • Front yard parking areas on lots less than 2,200 square feet are allowed an area of 400 square feet or up to 85% of the front yard setback area, whichever is greater.
  • A variance to the front yard parking limits might be appropriate in some circumstances, and this extra criterion should be considered:
    • If there is one of fewer on-street parking spaces per dwelling within 330 linear feet of the property
  • The front yard parking limits apply to everyone, but there are the following exceptions in the Nonconformities section:
    • If you made an improvement for front yard parking (i.e. an investment in your property) that is larger than that allowed in the Zoning Code before 2007 (when the size limits were established), you can continue using it for parking. The City won't ask you to remove it, since it was legal when you built it. Parking on un-improved areas is not allowed. 
    • If you have no improved driveway because that was not required when your property was developed (for example, your property pre-dates the Zone Code), the size limits established by the IDO will apply, but the City will not require the front-yard parking are to be improved.
    • If you made front-yard parking improvements between 2007 and the effective date of the IDO that met the requirements in place at the time you made the improvements, and the IDO is later changed, those improvements can continue to be used for front yard parking.

Scenarios

  • A house built in 1929 has no driveway, the lot is 4,000 square feet, and cars are parked within the entire front yard setback:
    • No driveway is required, but only 75% of the front yard setback area may be used for parking.
  • A house built in 1965 has a driveway, the lot is 7,000 square feet, the drive area was enlarged with concrete in 1985 to cover 90% of the front yard, and cars are parked on this enlarged area:
    • No action would be taken. This investment was made when there were no rules about front yard parking.
  • A house  built in 2003 has a driveway, the lot is 7,000 square feet, and cares are parked on the driveway and on landscaped areas:
    • Cars can only be parked in the driveway. The driveway could be enlarged but is limited to 60% of the front setback area.
  • A house built in 2004 has a driveway, the lot is 3,000 square feet, cars are parked on the driveway and on the landscaped areas, and there is no available on street parking because there are many curb cuts:
    • Cars can only be parked in the driveway. The driveway could be enlarged but is limited to 75% of the front setback area. The property owner could request a variance for an area larger than 75%, since there is no on-street parking available within 330 linear feet.