Post Falls, ID SmartCode for Parking
Post Falls, Idaho is a burgeoning amenity city just east of the Washington-Idaho border close to numerous lakes, rivers, and mountains. In recent years the city has been bolstering its tourism industry and working to appeal to retiring baby boomers. A population increase of 50 percent from 2000 to 2010 has made accommodating issues such as parking difficult. The parking issues were addressed in 2006 when the city hired consultants, PlaceMakers, to develop a SmartCode. By 2010, a revised version was officially adopted, incorporating specific SmartCode-zoned districts.
Many SmartCodes provide integrated parking regulations with easy and simple guidelines designed to promote mixed use. While a certain number of parking spaces are required in Post Falls' SmartCode, regulations also account for shared parking reduction factors: in mixed use areas all parking spots may be tabulated and then divided by the shared parking reduction factor to find the final requirement of parking spaces. For example, if office space is mixed with residential, the shared parking reduction factor is 14. The number of spaces required would be 1/14 of what is normally required. This relieves developers of certain parking requirements when using a variety of land uses in one project; it opens up area for more building development rather than just another parking structure or lot, encouraging use of constrained properties such as infill areas.
The SmartCode also requires developers to follow a parking placement standard. Depending on the SmartCode zone, parking may need to conform to these requirements:
- Parking disguised by building facades or street screens;
- Parking must be on second or third levels to make way for street level businesses;
- A minimum of one bicycle rack provided for every ten vehicular parking spaces; and
- Pedestrian exits must connect directly to street level.
These requirements further push developers to accommodate other modes of transportation and preserve the public spaces served by the parking features. A SmartCode affects more than just parking regulations, yet it provides methods that can be incorporated into existing zoning regulations, and have a positive impact on the ways developers and municipalities avoid excessive parking spaces and encourage mix use.
Category: Urban Form
Location: Post Falls, ID
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