Chapter 20.72


20.72.005    Policy.

20.72.010    Intent.

20.72.015    Change of use, alteration, expansion or enlargement.

20.72.020    General requirements.

20.72.030    Minimum requirements.

20.72.040    Off-street loading.

20.72.045    Landscaping, buffering, fencing and solid waste receptacles.

20.72.050    Development standards.

20.72.005 Policy.

In all districts except a C-3 district, minimum off-street parking space, with adequate provision for ingress and egress to the street, in accordance with this chapter, shall be provided to accommodate new structures, enlarging, moving or increasing dwelling units, commercial or industrial floor space, or increasing seating facilities. (Ord. 2209 § 2 (part), 2008: Ord. 2198 § 1 (part), 2007: Ord. 2024 § 1 (part), 1999: Ord. 1829 § 3, 1994: Ord. 1765 § 1 (part), 1992).

20.72.010 Intent.

It is the intent of this chapter to:

A.    Assure that space is provided for the parking, loading and unloading of motor vehicles on the site of premises or uses which attract the motor vehicles;

B.    Provide minimum standards of space and parking arrangements, and for the movement of motor vehicles into and out of such spaces;

C.    Avoid or reduce traffic congestion on public streets by:

1.    Keeping the need for on-street parking to a minimum; and

2.    Controlling access to sites;

D.    Enhance safety for pedestrians and motor vehicle operators;

E.    Encourage the creation of an aesthetically pleasing and functionally adequate system of off-street parking and loading facilities. (Ord. 2209 § 2 (part), 2008: Ord. 2198 § 1 (part), 2007: Ord. 2024 § 1 (part), 1999).

20.72.015 Change of use, alteration, expansion or enlargement.

Whenever a building is enlarged or altered, or whenever the use of a building is changed, off-street parking shall be provided for such expansion, enlargement or change in use in accordance with the requirements of this title; provided, however, that no additional off-street parking space need be provided where the number of parking spaces required for such expansion, enlargement or change in use since the effective date of the ordinance codified in this title is less than ten percent of the parking spaces specified in this chapter. Nothing shall be construed to require additional off-street parking spaces for those portions of a building existing at the time of the ordinance codified in this chapter. (Ord. 2209 § 2 (part), 2008: Ord. 2198 § 1 (part), 2007: Ord. 2024 § 1 (part), 1999: Ord. 1829 § 4, 1994).

20.72.020 General requirements.

A.    Off-street parking spaces and driveways shall not be used at any time for purposes other than their intended use, i.e., the temporary storage of motor vehicles used by persons visiting or having business to conduct on the premises for which the parking is provided.

B.    Minimum parking space required and intended for use by occupants or users of specific premises shall not be leased or rented to others, nor shall such space be made unavailable through other means to the users for whom the parking spaces are intended. This, however, does not preclude shared parking arrangements.

C.    Except where specifically permitted in certain zoning districts, off-street parking spaces shall not be used for loading or unloading of commercial vehicles larger than those vehicles for which the parking spaces are intended.

D.    Whenever a building or a piece of land is put to a use different from the immediately preceding use, or when a building is remodeled, reconstructed or expanded, adequate off-street parking shall be provided consistent with the new use, reconstruction or expansion of the premises.

E.    Required off-street parking areas in residential zones shall not be located in a front yard or in a side yard along a flanking street of a corner lot. Approved access to off-street parking areas for the purposes of ingress and egress must be approved by the city of Centralia engineering department. Access over curbs and sidewalks without approved driveways is prohibited. An uncovered parking area must be located to meet setback requirements for accessory structures so it may be covered later.

F.    Tandem parking (front to rear) shall not be permitted.

G.    All parked vehicles must comply with the city’s clear vision area requirements.

H.    Landscaping and screening of parking lots shall be in accordance with the requirements of Chapter 20.50 CMC, Landscaping, Buffering, Fencing, and Solid Waste Receptacles.

I.    No part of any vehicle may overhang onto a public sidewalk or within five feet of a street curb where no sidewalk exists.

J.    All required parking spaces and driveways located in residential, commercial, and industrial zones shall be a hard surface approved by the city, such as concrete, asphalt, paving blocks, or turf stone. Except, residentially zoned lots that are serviced by a private gravel road shall have the option of using an all-weather surface material for the driveway. Parking areas (twenty feet in front of the garage and the interior of the garage) shall be a hard-surface material. All-weather surfaced driveways shall be designed to not track material into the public right-of-way to the satisfaction of the city engineer, shall have a hard surface apron a minimum of twenty-five feet in length connecting to the hard-surfaced public roads and the width as approved by the city engineer. All-weather surfacing may include gravel, slag, or similar materials. (Ord. 2445 § 2 (Exh. A) (part), 2020: Ord. 2395 § 14, 2017: Ord. 2209 § 2 (part), 2008: Ord. 2198 § 1 (part), 2007: Ord. 2024 § 1 (part), 1999: Ord. 1976 § 1, 1998: Ord. 1765 § 1 (part), 1992).

20.72.030 Minimum requirements.

A.    The owner, developer or operator of the premises for which the parking facilities are intended shall be responsible for providing adequate amounts and arrangement of space for the particular premises.

B.    Residential Uses.

Residential: Single-family dwellings, manufactured homes, mobile homes

2:unit—2 covered in a minimum of a 20-ft.-by-20-ft. garage

Residential: Duplexes, twinhomes, townhomes

2:unit—1 covered in a minimum 10-ft.-by-20-ft. garage, second space uncovered and not in front or side setback

Residential: Triplexes, four-plexes and multifamily developments

2:unit + guest parking—1 covered in a minimum of a 10-ft.-by-20-ft. garage, second space uncovered; guest parking 1:3 units

Assisted living housing intended for exclusive use of, and occupied by, senior citizens

1 space for every 3 dwelling units + two-tenths space per dwelling unit in buildings containing 5 or more dwelling units; 1 space for each employee on shift

Housing in which the dwelling units are characterized by one room enclosing all activities (sometimes referred to as “bachelor” or “efficiency” units)

1 parking space for each dwelling unit

Mobile home parks, manufactured home parks, manufactured home subdivisions, and PUDs that consist entirely of manufactured homes

2:unit — in carports rather than garages — in mobile home parks the parking spaces in excess of one per mobile home may be grouped in shared uncovered parking areas

Accessory dwelling units/secondary dwelling units/accessory apartments/mother-in-law apartments

1 covered unit in a minimum 10-ft.-by-20-ft. garage; in addition to the required parking for primary residence

Emergency housing/homeless housing, 6 or less occupants


Emergency housing/homeless housing, 7 or more occupants

1.5 space per unit or 0.5 per 1,000 sq. ft. whichever is more and 1 space for each employee on a shift

Emergency shelters

0.5:1,000 sq. ft. and 1 space for each employee on a shift

Permanent supportive housing

1.5 space per unit

Transitional housing

1.5 space per unit

C.    Commercial, Industrial and Other Nonresidential Uses.


Square feet shall mean the gross floor area (GFA) of the building

Auditoriums, public assembly, private clubs, health clubs, theaters

1:100 sq. ft. or 1:5 seats

Auto repair, major

1:100 sq. ft.

Auto repair, minor

1:300 sq. ft.

Automobile service stations

1:200 sq. ft.

Banks, financial institutions

1:250 sq. ft. plus 5 stacking places for drive-thru

Bars, taverns, night clubs, clubs

1:100 sq. ft.

Barber shops/beauty shops

1:200 sq. ft.

Bed and breakfasts/boarding houses

1:guest room not located in any required setback

Car washes

2 spaces plus 3 stacking spaces per bay

Caretaker, security guard residence

1 covered in a minimum 10-ft.-by-20-ft. garage not in front or side setback

Child care centers

1:employee, plus 1:10 children


1:5 seats or 90 lineal inches per pew

Community centers

1:250 sq. ft.

Dance halls

1:4 persons based on the maximum allowable occupancy

Educational facilities:



Middle or junior high


High school





1:2 students

Elderly housing

1:unit plus 0.25 spaces per unit for guest parking

Government offices/facilities

1:200 sq. ft.


1:2 beds, plus 1.5 spaces per each emergency room examination table or bed, plus 1 space per employee on the major shift other than doctors, plus 1 per doctor assigned to the staff

Indoor recreation facilities/amusement centers/arcades

1:100 sq. ft.

Bowling alleys


Industrial uses/manufacturing/assembly/distribution/warehousing/wholesale

1:employee on the highest shift; plus one sq. ft. parking per sq. ft. of display/retail gross floor area; plus one space for each vehicle owned, leased or operated by the company


1:600 sq. ft.


1:200 sq. ft.

Mixed occupancies/uses (different uses in the same building or sharing a lot)

The total requirements for off-street parking shall be the sum of the requirements for the several uses computed separately

Mobile homes



1:50 sq. ft. of assembly room area



Restaurants/cocktail lounges

1:200 sq. ft.

Banquet/meeting rooms

1:200 sq. ft.

Nursery schools/day care centers

1:employee + 2 visitor spaces + sufficient drop-off/pick-up space to be determined by the planner

Nursing homes/retirement homes

1:3 residents plus 1 per employee

Offices: general/professional

1:300 sq. ft.

Offices: medical/dental

1:200 sq. ft.

Parks, open space

Based on anticipated parking demand

Personal services

1:200 sq. ft.

Recreation facilities:


Batting cages


Miniature golf courses


Recycling centers

1:500 sq. ft. of enclosed area

Repair services (bikes, appliances, etc.)

1:300 sq. ft.

Restaurants—Fast food/drive-thru

1:100 sq. ft. plus 6 stacking spaces for drive-thru


1:100 sq. ft.

Retail uses—Large retail—(Furniture, appliances, hardware, etc.)

1:600 sq. ft.

Retail uses—Small retail—(Grocery, convenience, personal)

1:300 sq. ft.

Retirement/senior housing/nursing homes

1:employee on highest shift plus 0.4:unit

Shopping centers

The total requirements for off-street parking shall be the sum of the requirements for the several uses computed separately

Skating rinks

1:200 sq. ft. of gross floor area

Stadiums, sports arenas and similar open assembly places

1:4 seats; one seat is equal to five feet of bench length

Storage buildings/spaces

0.5:1,000 sq. ft. of storage space

Unlisted uses

The community development department and city engineer shall determine which of the uses is most similar based upon staff experience with various uses and information provided by the applicant

D.    Modification. The community development department with the city engineer may authorize a modification from the minimum parking requirements for a specific development should conditions warrant. When seeking a modification from the minimum parking requirements, the developer or building occupant shall provide the community development department with a written justification for the proposed modification. Modification of these standards requires written approval from the community development department and the city engineer. (Ord. 2477 § 1, 2021; Ord. 2456 § 8, 2020: Ord. 2395 § 15, 2017: Ord. 2209 § 2 (part), 2008: Ord. 2198 § 1 (part), 2007; Ord. 2024 § 1 (part), 1999).

20.72.040 Off-street loading.

A.    Off-street loading spaces shall be required for all commercial establishments, except core commercial, which are engaged in the retailing or wholesaling of merchandise requiring regular delivery such as food retailers, lumberyards, hardware stores, department stores and the like:

Total Gross Floor Area of Building(s)

Space Required

Less than 5,000 sq. ft.


5,000 sq. ft. to 25,000 sq. ft.


25,000 sq. ft. to 50,000 sq. ft. or fraction thereof


Each additional 50,000 sq. ft. or fraction thereof in excess of 25,000 sq. ft.

1 additional

B.    All off-street loading and unloading spaces shall be of adequate size and with adequate access thereto to accommodate a vehicle forty-five feet in length, eight feet in width and fourteen feet in height. Each loading space shall be surfaced with an asphalt, concrete or similar pavement so as to provide a surface that is durable and dust free and shall be so graded and drained as to properly dispose of all surface water. (Ord. 2209 § 2 (part), 2008: Ord. 2024 § 1 (part), 1999).

20.72.045 Landscaping, buffering, fencing and solid waste receptacles.

All parking areas located adjacent to any private street or public street right-of-way shall provide a minimum five-foot planted buffer strip between the parking area and the private street or public right-of-way and meet the requirements in Chapter 20.50 CMC, Landscaping, Buffering, Fencing, and Solid Waste Receptacles. (Ord. 2209 § 2 (part), 2008: Ord. 2024 § 1 (part), 1999).

20.72.050 Development standards.

A.    Parking lot construction shall comply with standards set forth by the public works department.

B.    Parking area design shall include:

1.    Ingress and Egress. The location of all points of ingress and egress to parking areas shall be subject to the review and approval of the public works department.

2.    Backing Out Prohibited. In all commercial and industrial developments and in all residential buildings containing five or more dwelling units, parking areas shall be so arranged as to make it unnecessary for a vehicle to back out into any street or public right-of-way.

3.    Parking Spaces—Access and Dimensions. Adequate provision shall be made for individual ingress and egress by vehicles to all parking stalls at all times by means of unobstructed maneuvering aisles. Maneuvering aisles and parking stall dimensions shall be as shown in Figures 20.72.050(B)(1), (2) and (3).

4.    Small Car Parking Spaces. In all parking facilities containing twenty-five or more parking spaces, a maximum of twenty-five percent of the required parking spaces may be reduced in size for the use of small cars, provided these spaces shall be clearly identified with a sign permanently affixed immediately in front of each space containing the notation, “Compacts Only.” Spaces designed for small cars may be reduced in size to a minimum of seven and one-half feet in width and fifteen feet in length. Where feasible, all small cars shall be located in one or more contiguous areas and/or adjacent to ingress/egress points within parking facilities. Location of compact car parking spaces shall not create traffic congestion or impede traffic flows.

5.    Setback of Buildings from Public Right-of-Way.

a.    When parking is not to be provided between the building and the right-of-way line, the building setback shall be:

i.    Forty-five feet from the centerline of the right-of-way; or

ii.    Half the right-of-way width plus fifteen feet, whichever is greater.

b.    When parking is to be provided between the building and the right-of-way, the building setback shall be:

i.    Forty-five feet (five feet is for planted buffer strip along right-of-way line) from the centerline of the right-of-way; or

ii.    Half the right-of-way width plus five feet (five feet is for planted buffer strip along right-of-way line), whichever is greater; plus

iii.    The distance needed for appropriate parking and internal circulation as shown in the design standards of this section.

6.    Paving. All vehicular maneuvering and parking areas, including but not limited to off-street parking areas, truck and mobile equipment loading, unloading, storage and maneuvering areas, and related accesses to and from public right-of-way, shall be paved with asphalt or equivalent material.

The community development director, after consulting with the city engineer, may waive the paving requirements in the following instances:

a.    Areas used only for the storage and operation of heavy equipment, tracked vehicles, trucks and other large-tire vehicles as well as storage of large items unsuitable or unnecessary to store within a structure and where such areas are not generally used for regular deliveries or access by the general public. All such areas must be fenced with a six-foot chain link fence and contain a twenty-five-foot asphalt or concrete apron for any and all access points to the public right-of-way; and

b.    The property is zoned for and is conforming to either open space/public facility, commercial or industrial uses.

7.    Stormwater Runoff. All stormwater runoff shall be retained and disposed of on site or disposed of in a system designed for such runoff and which does not flood or damage adjacent properties. Systems designed for runoff retention and control shall be subject to the specifications provided by the public works department, and shall be subject to its review and approval.

Figure 20.72.050(B)(1)

Figure 20.72.050(B)(2)

Figure 20.72.050(B)(3)

(Ord. 2308 § 1, 2013: Ord. 2209 § 2 (part), 2008: Ord. 2024 § 1 (part), 1999).