Chapter 17.21


17.21.000    Purpose and intent.

17.21.010    Off-street parking and loading required.

17.21.020    Number of off-street parking spaces required.

17.21.030    Size of parking spaces.

17.21.040    Location of parking spaces.

17.21.050    Parking lot design, surfacing and marking requirements.

17.21.060    Illumination.

17.21.070    Parking requirements for mixed-use occupancies.

17.21.080    Joint-use parking requirements.

17.21.090    Parking for unspecified uses.

17.21.100    Required off-street loading.

17.21.000 Purpose and intent.

The purpose of the off-street parking and loading standards is to provide the public with an adequate number of parking spaces, vehicular ingress and egress from a building or parking area to a public street, and access for emergency vehicles. The intent is to control parking, internal circulation, and access out onto a public street and to provide an aesthetically pleasing parking facility which can incorporate the required drainage and landscaping, all in the interest of public safety and general welfare. (Ord. C-675 § 257, 2008)

17.21.010 Off-street parking and loading required.

A. Off-street parking and loading shall be provided and maintained in accordance with this chapter for any building hereafter erected, altered, enlarged, relocated, or reoccupied after being vacant for a period of one year or more.

B. These regulations shall not be interpreted to prevent the occupancy of a building erected before the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter where it can be demonstrated that there is insufficient land unoccupied by the building upon the site to provide the required number of parking spaces.

C. Where structural alterations or additions subsequent to the effective date of the ordinance codified in this chapter create units of additional floor space, dwelling units, bowling alleys or other units requiring off-street parking, the number of such spaces required shall be determined by reference only to the additional floor space, dwelling units, bowling alleys, or other units.

D. Removal of required off-street parking and loading spaces or both from practical use by obstruction, erection of buildings or structures, or by other action is prohibited, and any such action in violation of this section shall be considered a misdemeanor subject to punishment and remedy prescribed in AHMC 1.16.010.

E. Any addition to a building, or any change in use of a building or site to such an extent that a permit or certificate of occupancy is necessary shall require compliance with the provisions contained within this chapter. All required parking areas shall be made permanently available free of charge to the customers of the use on the site and maintained for parking purposes only. No building permit shall be issued until plans showing provision for the required off-street parking have been submitted and approved. Every lot or parcel of land, or portion thereof, used as a public or private parking area shall be developed and maintained in accordance with this section; however, detached single-family and duplex housing shall be exempt from all requirements. (Ord. C-675 § 258, 2008)

17.21.020 Number of off-street parking spaces required.

The number of off-street parking spaces required for each use shall be as follows (where a use is not listed, the City Planner shall determine the number of spaces required based upon similar listed uses):

17.21 Table 1 

Land Uses

Parking Spaces Required*

Single-family residences

2 spaces per unit

Duplex residences

2 spaces per unit

Multiple-family residences

Studio or 1 bedroom, less than 500 sq. ft.

1 space per dwelling unit

1 bedroom, 500 sq. ft. or larger

1.5 spaces per dwelling unit

2 bedrooms

1.75 spaces per dwelling unit

3 bedrooms

2 spaces per dwelling unit

Retirement/elderly apartments

1 space per 3 units

Hotels, motels, boarding houses, clubs, and lodges with overnight accommodations

1 space per unit/room, plus parking as required for restaurant, retail, and conference convention facilities


1 space per planned resident

Group homes

1 space per staff person, plus 1 space per five residents, plus 1 space per vehicle operated by the facility

Family day care homes

None required other than for single-family residences

Day care centers/adult day care facilities

1 space per staff person, plus 1 pick-up and drop-off space, plus 1 space per 10 children or adults

Nursing homes and convalescent centers

1 space per 4 beds or per 1,000 gross sq. ft.


1 space per 4 beds

Junior high schools and elementary schools

2 spaces per teaching station

High schools

6 spaces per teaching station

Colleges, universities, business and trade schools

1 space per 4 seats in classroom, plus 1 space per classroom

Specialized schools/studios (e.g., dance, gymnastics, martial arts, etc.)

1 space per 200 gross sq. ft.

Home industry/profession

None required other than for single-family residences

Professional offices

1 space per 400 gross sq. ft., minimum of 5 spaces

Medical and dental offices, animal veterinary clinics

1 space per 200 gross sq. ft.

Banks and other services

1 space per 400 gross sq. ft., minimum of 5 spaces

Barber or beauty shops/schools

1 space per 75 gross sq. ft.

Launderettes or self-service laundries

1 space per 4 machines

Libraries, art galleries, museums

1 space per 500 gross sq. ft.

Public use (includes parks)

1 space per 5 square miles

Auditoriums, theaters, stadiums, churches, funeral homes, bingo parlors (fixed seating)

1 space for every 4 seats or 1 space for every 8 ft. of bench or pew

Clubs, lodges, dance halls, bingo parlors and other assemblies (without fixed seating)

1 space per 80 gross sq. ft.

Tennis, racquetball, handball, and similar courts and clubs

2 spaces per court, plus 1 space per 40 gross sq. ft. of assembly area

Bowling alleys

5 spaces per lane

Skating rinks

1 space per 150 gross sq. ft.

Drive-in and take-out restaurants (no seating)

1 space per 50 gross sq. ft., minimum of 6 spaces

Full-service restaurants, taverns, and lounges

1 space per 4 seats or 1 space per 100 gross square feet, whichever is less

Espresso stands

1 space per employee and at least 60 feet of stacking space for vehicles

Car washes and other short turn-around auto services (e.g., tire mounting)

1 space for each employee, plus 3 spaces for each service bay

Auto repair garage

1 space per 400 gross sq. ft., minimum of 3 spaces

Motor vehicle or large machinery retail

1 space per 1,000 gross sq. ft. building space, plus 1 space per 1,500 gross sq. ft. outside display/sales lot or 2 spaces for each 3 employees

Manufactured (mobile) home and recreational vehicle retail

1 space per 3,000 gross sq. ft. of lot area

Furniture or large appliance retail

1 space per 1,000 gross sq. ft.

Other retail, commercial

1 space per 400 gross sq. ft., minimum of 3 spaces

Self-service storage facilities

1 space for each employee, plus 1 space for every 300 storage units

Wholesale commercial and warehouse

1 space per 2,000 gross sq. ft.


1 space per 2 employees on the largest shift


1 space per 1,000 gross sq. ft. or 2 spaces for each 3 employees

Auto wrecking yards

15 spaces for sites up to 10 acres, 25 spaces for sites over 10 acres

*    The City’s Technical Review Committee may provide further determination of required parking spaces (i.e., based upon spaces/employees rather than spaces/ square footage) dependent upon the activity.

(Ord. C-675 § 259, 2008)

17.21.030 Size of parking spaces.

Each off-street parking space shall have an area of not less than 180 square feet exclusive of drives and aisles, and a width of not less than nine feet. Each such space shall be provided with adequate ingress and egress. (Ord. C-675 § 260, 2008)

17.21.040 Location of parking spaces.

General: the following elements pertain to nonjoint-use parking requirements:

Off-street parking spaces shall be located as specified. Where distance is specified, such distance shall be the walking distance measured from the nearest point of the building that it serves.

A. Off-street parking facilities shall be located within a reasonable distance to the building.

B. All parking spaces, stalls or both and aisles shall be designed according to the following parking design standards:

1. Two-way angled stalls shall have a minimum 21-foot-wide aisle. Two-way, 90-degree parking stalls shall have a minimum 24-foot-wide aisle;

2. One-way parking stalls shall have a minimum 12-foot-wide aisle for 45-degree angled stalls;

3. Parking stalls shall be designed so that there is minimal vehicle overhang into adjoining property, public rights-of-way, landscaped areas, and drainage areas or both.

C. Parking spaces designed at any angle other than those described are permitted, provided the width of stalls and aisles is proportionately adjusted based upon the angle proposed.

D. Parking shall be so designed to minimize automobiles backing out into public streets or into main circulation routes within the parking lot. Single-family and duplex residences are exempt from this requirement.

E. Handicapped parking shall be installed in accordance with the Regulations for Barrier-Free Facilities as adopted by the Washington State Building Code Advisory Council and as administered by the Building and Safety Department. The handicapped parking space shall be included in the number of required parking spaces.

F. Bicycle racks and/or storage shall be provided whenever 50 or more parking spaces are required. There shall be two racks required for 50 to 74 parking spaces and one rack for every additional 25 parking spaces required.

G. A parking plan shall be submitted to the City Planner for review and approval before the issuance of any building or land use permits.

H. Bicycle parking may be substituted for 10 percent of the required parking spaces. (Ord. C-675 § 261, 2008)

17.21.050 Parking lot design, surfacing and marking requirements.

A. All off-street parking areas shall consist of gravel, paving or grading to the standards of the Public Works Department before a certificate of occupancy for the building is issued. All paving shall be done in a manner consistent with standards set forth by the City Engineer.

1. The City Planner may waive portions of these requirements upon recommendations by the City Engineer’s office when it can be demonstrated that the proposed surfacing, such as grass pavers or other technology, will not adversely affect air quality, water quality, or the integrity of the parking area.

B. General Requirements (All Parking Areas). The paving and hard surfacing shall provide for proper storm drainage and allow for parking stalls and installation of other traffic control devices as set forth by the City Engineer. All traffic control devices, such as parking strips designating car stalls, directional arrows or signs, and curbs and other traffic control devices shall be installed and completed as required by this section and as shown on the approved plans. Paint or markers shall be used to delineate parking stalls and directional arrows on paved or hard-surfaced areas. Pedestrian walks on the exterior of the parking lot shall be curbed or raised six inches above the lot surface or to curb height, excluding those areas used for driveways, curb cuts necessary for meeting handicap requirements, and curb cuts necessary for meeting storm water requirements. The parking lot surfacing and drainage facilities shall be inspected and approved before issuance of a certificate of occupancy.

1. Off-street parking stalls shall comply with the minimum parking design standards outlined in AHMC 17.21.040.

2. Landscaping for parking areas shall be provided as specified in AHMC 17.22.100. (Ord. C-675 § 262, 2008)

17.21.060 Illumination.

Any lights provided to illuminate any parking area shall be constructed, shielded, and used so as not to illuminate directly or create glare visible from adjacent properties or public rights-of-way. Lighting resembling or conflicting with traffic signals or emergency vehicles or otherwise creating safety hazards for pedestrian or vehicular traffic is prohibited. (Ord. C-675 § 263, 2008)

17.21.070 Parking requirements for mixed-use occupancies.

In the case of mixed-use occupancies in a building or on a lot, the total requirement for off-street parking shall be the sum of the requirements for the various uses computed separately unless a joint-use parking agreement has been made and submitted to the Planning Department for approval. Off-street parking facilities for a particular use shall not be considered as providing required parking facilities for any other use except as specified for joint use. (Ord. C-675 § 264, 2008)

17.21.080 Joint-use parking requirements.

A. The owner(s) of a group of uses or buildings may jointly provide for the collective use of off-street parking and loading spaces, subject to the City Planner’s approval of the plans thereof. Such plans shall include the identification of the limits of the property involved; the outline of all structures; the identification of all other areas not involved in the off-street parking, loading, or access thereto (e.g., pedestrian areas, landscaping, refuse storage areas); the actual layout of all off-street parking and loading spaces, as well as access thereto; identification of those spaces to be used collectively if other than all spaces on the property; and an agreement signed by all owners of the subject property binding them to continued collective use of off-street parking and loading spaces.

B. For shopping centers, the City Planner may establish a total parking requirement based upon the mixture of uses contained within the center. If the City Planner finds the uses within the center have substantially dissimilar peak demands for off-street parking, the City Planner may establish the center’s parking requirements at a level reduced up to 25 percent of the normal parking requirement.

C. Up to 50 percent of the parking facilities required by this section for a use considered to be primarily a daytime use may be provided by the parking facilities of a use considered to be primarily a nighttime use or vice versa, provided the reciprocal parking area shall be subject to the conditions set forth in this subsection and subsections (F), (G), and (H) of this section.

D. Up to 100 percent of the Sunday and nighttime parking facilities required by this section for a church or auditorium incidental to a public or parochial school may be supplied by parking facilities required for the school use if the reciprocal parking area shall be subject to the conditions set forth in this subsection and subsections (F), (G), and (H) of this section.

E. For purposes of this subsection, the following uses are typical daytime uses: business offices, barber and beauty shops, and manufacturing or wholesale buildings. The following uses are typical nighttime and Sunday uses: auditoriums incidental to a public or parochial school, churches, dance halls, theaters, and taverns.

F. The building or use for which application is made for authority to use the existing off-street parking facilities provided by another building or use shall be located within a reasonable distance of the parking facilities.

G. The applicant shall demonstrate that there is not substantial conflict in the principal operating hours of the buildings or uses for which the joint use of the parking facility is proposed.

H. Parties jointly using off-street parking facilities, as provided for, shall execute a legal easement regarding their joint use agreement. The agreement shall be subject to review by the City Planner and recorded in the County Auditor’s Office. The agreement shall run with the land and not be terminable without authorization being given by the City Planner, based upon changed conditions. (Ord. C-675 § 265, 2008)

17.21.090 Parking for unspecified uses.

When the parking requirements for a use are not specifically defined, the parking requirements for such use shall be determined by the City Planner, and such determination shall be based upon the requirements for the most comparable use specified or other requirements based on the best available information concerning the proposed use. (Ord. C-675 § 266, 2008)

17.21.100 Required off-street loading.

A. It is the intent of this section to require all future commercial, business, institutional, or industrial developments to provide off-street loading facilities in order to guarantee full utilization of existing rights-of-way to accommodate present and future traffic demands. Off-street loading facilities are intended to provide adequate space to accommodate outside deliveries from large vehicles which cannot be functionally served by normal parking stalls. Off-street loading facilities must be located in such a manner that service vehicles do not block or intrude into public rights-of-way or block driveways or parking area circulation.

B. Location and Design.

1. All off-street loading spaces shall be designed to minimize impacts on adjacent properties.

2. In all cases, loading facilities shall be located on the same lot as the structure they are designed to serve. Required front or flanking street side yards cannot be used for loading, except as approved by the City Planner. Off-street loading space shall not be included in an area used to satisfy off-street parking requirements.

3. Loading spaces shall be designed and located so vehicles using these spaces do not project into any public right-of-way or otherwise extend beyond property lines.

4. Loading spaces shall be designed and built so no vehicles are required to back to or from an adjacent street, except for minor access for heavy trucking in industrial zones on local access streets.

C. When a proposed structure is intended to be used concurrently for different purposes, final determination of required loading spaces shall be made by the City Planner, provided the loading requirements for the combined uses shall not be less than the total requirement for each separate use.

D. Off-street loading spaces shall measure 15 feet wide, 60 feet long, and 15 feet high; except, if this section requires only one off-street loading space, it may measure 12 feet wide, 30 feet long, and 14 feet, six inches high.

E. Off-street loading spaces must be paved.

F. The minimum number of off-street loading spaces shall be required according to the following table:

17.21 Table 2 

Land Uses


Loading Spaces Required

Industrial, manufacturing wholesale, warehouse, similar uses

10,000 – 40,000 sf

1 space

40,000 – 60,000 sf

2 spaces

60,000 – 100,000 sf

3 spaces

>100,000 sf

1 space per 50,000 sf

Offices, hotel/motel, restaurants

20,000 – 60,000 sf

1 space

60,000 – 100,000 sf

2 spaces

>100,000 sf

1 space per 50,000 sf

Hospitals, convalescent centers, nursing homes, similar institutions

10,000 – 40,000 sf

1 space

40,000 – 100,000 sf

2 spaces

>100,000 sf

1 space per 50,000 sf

Department stores, retail and other commercial uses

10,000 – 20,000 sf

1 space

20,000 – 50,000 sf

2 spaces

50,000 – 100,000 sf

3 spaces

>100,000 sf

1 space per 50,000 sf


No requirement


(Ord. C-675 § 267, 2008)