Chapter 15.550
OFF-STREET PARKING

Sections:

15.550.010    Purpose.

15.550.020    Authority and application.

15.550.030    Parking plan – Building permit, surety bond, and occupancy requirements.

15.550.040    Computation of required off-street parking spaces.

15.550.050    Continued use of required parking spaces.

15.550.060    Cooperative parking facilities.

15.550.070    Loading space requirements.

15.550.080    Parking lot design and construction standards.

15.550.010 Purpose.

The purpose of this chapter is to provide adequate parking for all uses allowed in this title, to reduce demand for parking by encouraging alternative means of transportation including public transit and bicycles, and to increase pedestrian mobility by:

A.    Setting minimum off-street parking standards for different land uses and districts that assure safe, convenient and adequately sized parking facilities;

B.    Recognizing that developed properties are likely to support a variety of different uses over time; and

C.    Providing for parking and storage of bicycles. [Ord. 4656 § 1 (Exh. O2), 2013.]

15.550.020 Authority and application.

A.    The regulations of this chapter apply to all off-street parking areas in all zoning districts within the city of Ellensburg.

B.    The regulations of this chapter apply to all new development applications, all new parking lot construction or enlargement. In addition, these regulations shall apply at the time of enlarging, moving or increasing the capacity of existing structures by creating or adding dwelling units, commercial or industrial floor space, or seating facilities, and shall also apply when an existing land use within an existing structure is changed to a category of land use as set forth below that is different than the category of land use (as set forth in Table 15.550.040(A)) for which the existing parking facility was designed and installed.

C.    Whenever a building or use is expanded, enlarged or altered, additional off-street parking will be required for such expansion, enlargement or alteration based on the additional square footage of the expansion, enlargement or alteration, not on the total square footage of the building. However, in the event of enlargement or alteration of a structure, no additional off-street parking need be provided where the number of parking spaces required for such expansion, enlargement, or alteration is less than 10 percent of the off-street parking requirement specified in this chapter.

D.    Before an occupancy permit may be granted for any new or enlarged building or for a change of use in any existing building, the use shall be required to meet the provisions of this chapter.

E.    If this chapter does not specify a parking requirement for a land use, the director shall establish the minimum requirement based on a study of anticipated parking demand. Transportation demand management actions taken at the site shall be considered in determining anticipated demand. In the study the applicant shall provide sufficient information to demonstrate that the parking demand for a specific land use will be satisfied. Parking studies shall be prepared by a professional engineer with expertise in traffic and parking analyses, or an equally qualified individual as authorized by the director. [Ord. 4656 § 1 (Exh. O2), 2013.]

15.550.030 Parking plan – Building permit, surety bond, and occupancy requirements.

A.    Building Permit. No building permit nor parking lot construction or enlargement shall be issued until a parking plan showing provisions for the required off-street parking, as specified in this chapter, has been submitted and approved by the director. The plan shall clearly indicate the proposed development, including parking lot location, size, shape, design, number of spaces, curb cuts, lighting, landscaping, and other features and appurtenances required by this chapter. The landscaping requirements for parking areas shall also meet the requirements of Chapter 15.570 ECC. The parking plan shall show/state the number of parking spaces and handicap spaces required and provided.

B.    Surety. Before a building permit is issued for any building or structure for which this chapter requires off-street parking and where such off-street parking is not to be contained within the building for which the building permit is requested, the director may require that the applicant provide the city with a surety bond or other sufficient security approved by the city attorney guaranteeing to the city the installation and improvement of the required off-street parking within a time not to exceed six months following the completion of the building(s) for which such off-street parking is to be provided.

C.    Occupancy. All required off-street parking areas must be completed and landscaped prior to occupancy of any structure except as provided in Chapter 15.570 ECC, Landscaping. [Ord. 4656 § 1 (Exh. O2), 2013.]

15.550.040 Computation of required off-street parking spaces.

A.    Spaces Required. Except as modified in subsections below, off-street parking areas shall contain at a minimum the number of parking spaces as stipulated in the following table. Off-street parking ratios expressed as number of spaces per square feet means the usable or net square footage of floor area, exclusive of nonpublic areas. Nonpublic areas include but are not limited to building maintenance areas, storage areas, closets or restrooms. If the formula for determining the number of off-street parking spaces results in a fraction, the number of off-street parking spaces shall be rounded to the nearest whole number with fractions of 0.50 or greater rounding up and fractions below 0.50 rounding down..

Table 15.550.040(A). Computation of required
off-street parking spaces. 

Category of Land Use1

Minimum Parking Spaces Required

RESIDENTIAL/LODGING

Dwelling, single-family

2.0 per dwelling unit; for structures containing more than 4 bedrooms, 1 additional space for each bedroom in excess of 4 shall be provided. NOTE: Tandem parking to accommodate 2-car garages is permitted for single-family units.

Accessory dwelling unit

None required

Apartment:

 

Duplex

2.0 per dwelling unit; for structures containing more than 4 bedrooms, 1 additional space for each bedroom in excess of 4 shall be provided. NOTE: Tandem parking to accommodate 2-car garages is permitted for duplex dwelling units.

Townhouse

2.0 per dwelling unit; for structures containing more than 4 bedrooms, 1 additional space for each bedroom in excess of 4 shall be provided.

Studio units

1.2 per dwelling unit

Studio and 1-bedroom units in C-C zone outside of the downtown historic district

0.7 per dwelling unit

1-bedroom units

1.5 per dwelling unit

2-bedroom residential units and larger in C-C zone outside of the downtown historic district

0.7 per bedroom

2-bedroom units or larger

1.0 per bedroom

Cottage housing

1.5 per dwelling unit

Senior housing

1.0 per dwelling unit (this may be reduced based on the characteristics of the use)

Adult family home

2.0 per dwelling unit; for structures containing more than 4 bedrooms, 1 additional space for each bedroom in excess of 4 shall be provided. NOTE: Tandem parking to accommodate 2-car garages is permitted.

Senior citizen assisted housing

1.0 per 2 dwelling or sleeping units

Community residential facilities

1.0 per 2 bedrooms

Boarding houses, lodging houses, sororities, fraternities

1.0 per bedroom

Hotel/motels (where restaurants and conference facilities are included, see standards for applicable use)

1.0 per guest room

Bed and breakfast guesthouse

1.0 per guest room, plus 2.0 per facility

GENERAL RETAIL AND SERVICE

Offices, banks, medical clinics, supermarkets, retail shops, department stores, or similar uses

1.0 per 300 square feet of gross floor area

General retail or service use with drive-in facility

Same parking for retail and service as provided herein, plus sufficient off-street drive-through stacking area to accommodate 3 vehicles without negatively impacting other required parking areas, ingress and egress into such parking areas, or traffic on public streets

Day care facility

1.0 per employee plus 1.0 temporary loading parking per each 8 full-day equivalent children

FOOD AND BEVERAGE

Restaurant, taverns, or similar uses where patrons sit down for service

1.0 per 200 square feet of gross floor area for sit-down facilities with a minimum number of 5 spaces required

Drive-in restaurant

Same parking as restaurant plus sufficient off-street drive-through stacking area to accommodate 6 vehicles without negatively impacting other required parking areas, ingress and egress into such parking areas, or traffic on public streets

Drive-in coffee stand

2.0 per facility plus sufficient off-street drive-through stacking area to accommodate 6 vehicles without negatively impacting other required parking areas, ingress and egress into such parking areas, or traffic on public streets

PLACES OF ASSEMBLY

Churches, funeral homes, mortuaries, clubs, lodges, museums, auditoriums, theaters, conference facilities, public or commercial recreational facilities, or similar uses

0.25 per person of maximum occupancy as established by the fire marshal with a minimum of 5 spaces required

INDUSTRIAL AND LAND CONSUMPTIVE USES

Wholesale trade, warehousing (including miniwarehouse facilities), processing and manufacturing facilities, heavy equipment repair, lumber yard, car sales, or similar land consumptive but low traffic generation uses

1.0 per 1,500 square feet of gross floor area for structures up to 20,000 square feet in gross size with a minimum of 5 spaces required OR 1.0 per 2,000 square feet of gross floor area for structures greater than 20,000 square feet in gross size.

NOTE: For vehicle sales lots, the sales area is not considered to be a parking facility and does not have to comply with the requirements of this chapter. However, all required parking must be designed and reserved for customer parking only.

PUBLIC AND QUASI-PUBLIC USES

Hospital

1.5 per each 5 beds with a minimum of 5 spaces required

Elementary and junior high schools

1.0 per classroom, plus 1 per 50 students

High schools, college or university, trade school, or business school

1.0 per classroom, plus 1 per 10 students

Governmental office

1.0 per 350 square feet of gross floor area

Notes:

1.    In those situations where a particular use is not specifically mentioned in this table, the requirements for off-street parking shall be determined by the director and in accordance with the most comparable use listed.

B.    Uses in the C-C Zone. There are no off-street parking requirements for any uses in the C-C zone, except residential uses located outside of the downtown historic district shall provide at least 0.7 parking spaces per bedroom (studio apartments shall be considered a one-bedroom apartment).

C.    Shell Building Permit Applications. When the city has received a shell building permit application, off-street parking requirements shall be based on the possible tenant improvements or uses authorized by the zone designation and compatible with the limitations of the shell permit. When the range of possible uses results in different parking requirements, the director shall establish the amount of parking based on a likely range of uses.

For example, an applicant submits a permit for a 5,000-square-foot shell building in the C-H zone. The zone allows for a range of retail, personal, and general service retail uses. Most permitted uses in this zone fall in the category of general retail and service uses in Table 15.550.040(A) which requires one space per 300 square feet of gross floor area. Restaurants require more parking (one space per 200 square feet of gross floor area). While the director might find it unreasonable to require parking for the “worst case scenario” in terms of possible use types, he or she will typically choose a requirement that falls between the possible use scenarios. In this case, the odds are that most possible uses fall in the general retail and service use category with a lower parking requirement, though a slightly higher parking requirement would make sense given the possibility of a use such as a restaurant, which requires greater parking. Thus, a compromise standard, requiring a minimum of one space per 275 square feet of gross floor area, would be reasonable in this instance.

D.    Other Provisions of Code. Where other provisions of this code stipulate reduced minimum parking requirements, those provisions shall apply.

E.    Bicycle Parking. Multifamily and nonresidential developments shall provide for bicycle parking per the standards below:

1.    Amount of Bicycle Parking.

Table 15.550.040(B). Computation of required off-
street bicycle parking spaces. 

Category of Land Use

Minimum Parking Spaces Required

Single-family dwelling

None

Multifamily dwelling

0.5 space per dwelling unit (units with private garages are exempt)

Hotel/motels

1.0 per 20 guest rooms

Offices, banks, medical clinics, supermarkets, retail shops, department stores, or similar uses

1.0 per 5,000 square feet of gross floor area for up to 50,000 square feet, then 1.0 per 10,000 square feet beyond 50,000

Restaurant, taverns, or similar uses where patrons sit down for service

1.0 per 800 square feet of gross floor area

All other uses

1.0 per 5 required vehicle parking spaces

2.    Parking Location and Design – Nonresidential Uses. Bicycle facilities for patrons shall be located within 100 feet of the building entrance and located in safe, visible areas that do not impede pedestrian or vehicle traffic flow. Proper lighting of area is required per Chapter 15.580 ECC.

3.    Parking Location and Design – Residential Uses. Bicycle facilities for residents shall be located within 100 feet of all building or individual unit entrances and located on the ground level in safe, visible areas that do not impede pedestrian or vehicle traffic flow. Proper lighting of area is required per Chapter 15.580 ECC.

4.    Bicycle parking hardware shall be installed according to its manufacturer’s instructions, allowing adequate clearance for bicycles and their riders.

5.    Projects in the C-C zone may contribute to a bicycle parking fund (subject to establishment by the city) maintained by the city in lieu of required parking set forth in Table 15.550.040(B). Calculation of the required fund contributions will be based on the cost to purchase, install, and maintain bicycle parking and associated improvements. The cost will be adjusted annually by the city. The fund will be used by the city to provide bicycle parking in the C-C zone and in other locations within the city.

F.    Primary Use. The minimum number of parking spaces shall be computed based on the primary uses on the property, except as stated in subsection (G) of this section that addresses accessory uses. When there are two or more separate primary uses on a property, the required off-street parking for the property is the sum of the required parking for the individual primary uses.

G.    Accessory Use. When more than 20 percent of the gross floor area on a property is in an accessory use, the required off-street parking shall be calculated separately for the accessory use and for the primary use and then added together for the total required off-street parking. When 20 percent or less of the gross floor area on a property is in an accessory use, the required off-street parking shall be calculated on the gross floor area of the building as if it were all under the primary use.

Examples:

1.    A 40,000-square-foot building containing a 30,000-square-foot warehouse space (75 percent of total) and a 10,000-square-foot accessory office space (25 percent of total). The minimum parking requirement would be calculated separately for the office use and the warehouse use and then added together.

2.    The same 40,000-square-foot building containing a 35,000-square-foot warehouse space (88 percent of total) and a 5,000-square-foot accessory office space (12 percent of total). The required parking would be based solely on the gross floor area of the building as if it were all the primary use (40,000).

H.    On-Street Parking. On-street parking immediately adjacent to the property may be counted towards the parking requirement for nonresidential uses.

I.    Off-Site Parking. Off-site parking is not permitted for residential uses outside of the C-C zone, except for guest parking provisions associated with local access streets per ECC 15.410.040(B)(2). For nonresidential uses, a maximum of 25 percent of the required off-street parking for a building or use may be located on a separate lot of record. Specifically:

1.    The location of the off-site parking shall be within 600 feet of any property line of the property for which the off-site parking is provided;

2.    Off-site parking facilities are subject to applicable design provisions in this division, including site orientation standards in Chapter 15.510 ECC, site planning and design elements in Chapter 15.520 ECC, and landscaping standards in Chapter 15.570 ECC;

3.    There shall be sidewalks or paved pedestrian paths between the off-site parking site and the use for which the off-site parking is provided;

4.    There shall be adequate lighting to provide safe walking between the off-site parking and the use for which the off-site parking is provided;

5.    The owner of the off-site parking property shall execute a covenant in a form acceptable to the city attorney that shall clearly:

a.    Identify the legal description of the property that is to benefit from the off-site parking lot and the legal description of the off-site property that is to be encumbered in whole or in part by the covenant;

b.    Specify the terms and conditions of such encumbrance; and

c.    Clearly state that the terms of the covenant cannot be modified or revoked without the written consent of the city council.

d.    The covenant shall be recorded with the Kittitas County auditor’s office to run as a deed restriction on both the benefited and encumbered properties as long as the business requiring these off-street parking spaces is in operation. A copy of the recorded covenant shall be provided to the community development department.

J.    All required off-street parking must have direct and unobstructed access to ingress and egress from a public street, and stacked or tandem parking shall not be counted toward meeting the required off-street parking requirements in any zoning district except for single-family residential structures and duplex dwelling units as per Table 15.550.040(A).

K.    Setback Areas.

1.    Required off-street parking spaces are not allowed to extend within any required setback area or required open space area in the R-L, R-M, R-O, and R-H zoning districts, or in the front setback area in the C-T zoning district. Single-family residences located in any of the R-L, R-M, R-O, and R-H zoning districts are allowed to locate the minimum required two off-street parking spaces within the setback areas or required open space area. Any additional parking spaces must be located outside of the required open space and setback areas.

2.    At locations where single-family residential parking is permitted within setback or required open space, provisions shall be made to prevent this parking from encroaching upon adjacent sidewalks. For the purposes of this requirement there shall be a minimum of 22 feet between adjacent structures and sidewalks to allow for parking clearance when required parking for single family residential development is sited on the required building setback(s) or open space.

L.    Garages. Required off-street parking that is provided in garages or carports shall be credited toward the required off-street parking spaces except that no stacked or tandem parking that blocks off those garages or carport parking spaces from direct or unobstructed access to ingress or egress to a public street shall be credited toward the required parking spaces except for single-family residential structures and duplex structures as set forth in Table 15.550.040(A).

M.    Handicapped Parking. Off-street parking and access for the physically handicapped shall be provided in accordance with the Uniform Building Code.

N.    Fire Lane Standards. Fire lanes may be required by the fire codes and by Kittitas Valley Fire and Rescue within off-street parking facilities. Such fire lanes, including dimensions, width, location, etc., shall be installed as required by the fire code or Kittitas Valley Fire and Rescue and shall remain in effect throughout the life of the parking facility.

O.    Changes in use to a different land use category shall provide the minimum off-street parking for the new general land use category. [Ord. 4810 § 2, 2018; Ord. 4807 § 59, 2018; Ord. 4656 § 1 (Exh. O2), 2013.]

15.550.050 Continued use of required parking spaces.

A.    Continued Use. Required off-street parking spaces must be available for the continued use of residents, customers, or employees of the use, and the continued use of a building or structure or property for which off-street parking is required shall be conditioned upon the continued existence of such off-street parking. If the required off-street parking ceases to exist in connection with the use for which it was reserved, and no equivalent off-street parking is provided, such occupancy and use of the building or structure or property shall become illegal and the occupancy permit shall become void.

B.    Assignment Prohibited. Required off-street parking spaces may not be assigned in any way to another use on another site except as provided in ECC 15.550.060 relating to cooperative parking facilities.

C.    Use for Non-Parking Purposes Prohibited. Required off-street parking spaces shall not be used for the parking of equipment or for storage of materials or goods or inoperable vehicles. Use of required off-street parking for commercial or other purposes in conjunction with a temporary use of a limited and specific duration shall require separate review and approval by the director in conjunction with the temporary use.

D.    Maintenance Required. The off-street parking required by this chapter shall be maintained in a good and functioning condition as determined by the director. [Ord. 4807 § 60, 2018; Ord. 4804 § 3, 2018; Ord. 4656 § 1 (Exh. O2), 2013.]

15.550.060 Cooperative parking facilities.

Cooperative parking facilities may be provided subject to the approval of the director where two or more land uses can be joined or coordinated to achieve efficiency of vehicular and pedestrian circulation, economy of space, and a superior grouping of buildings or uses. When cooperative parking facilities can be provided, the director may reduce the on-site parking requirements based on the following criteria:

A.    Peak demand occurs at distinctly different times.

B.    The minimum required parking for a multi-tenant facility shall be based upon the minimum amount necessary to satisfy the highest average daily peak demand generated by the uses at a single time period. In no case shall the minimum required parking for a multi-tenant facility be less than 60 percent of the total required for all uses in the facility.

C.    The continuation of the cooperative facility shall be assured by a sufficient legal document, such as a covenant or reciprocal easement agreement, or by participation in a local improvement district or parking cooperative or association. If a covenant is used, the owner of the off-site parking property shall execute a covenant in a form acceptable to the city attorney that shall clearly:

1.    Identify the legal description of the properties that are to benefit from the cooperative parking facilities and the legal description of the property that is to be encumbered in whole or in part by the covenant;

2.    Specify the terms and conditions of the such encumbrance; and

3.    Clearly state that the terms of the covenant cannot be modified or revoked without the written consent of the city council.

The covenant shall be recorded with the Kittitas County auditor’s office to run as a deed restriction on both the benefited and encumbered properties. A copy of the recorded covenant shall be provided to the community development department.

D.    Shared parking associated with multi-tenant retail and commercial facilities will be considered to be a cooperative parking facility. Lease agreements recorded per subsection (C) of this section will satisfy the requirement for a sufficient legal document.

E.    In the event that the uses subject to the cooperative parking facility agreement change to different categories of use than the original uses, the new uses must be reviewed by the director to ensure that there is adequate on-site parking for the new use combined with the other uses subject to the cooperative parking facility agreement. [Ord. 4656 § 1 (Exh. O2), 2013.]

15.550.070 Loading space requirements.

A.    Every nonresidential building engaged in retail, wholesale, manufacturing, or storage activities, excluding self-service storage facilities, shall provide loading spaces in accordance with the standards listed below:

Table 15.550.070(A). Loading space requirements for
retail, wholesale, manufacturing, or storage activities, excluding self-service storage facilities.

Gross Floor Area

Required Number of Loading Spaces

10,000 to 40,000 square feet

1

40,001 to 96,000 square feet

2

96,001 to 160,000 square feet

3

160,001 to 196,000 square feet

4

For each additional 70,000 square feet

1 additional

B.    Every building engaged in hotel, office building, restaurant, hospital, auditorium, convention hall, exhibition hall, sports arena/stadium or other similar use shall provide loading spaces in accordance with the standards listed below:

Table 15.550.070(B). Loading space requirements for
hotel, office building, restaurant, hospital, auditorium, convention hall, exhibition hall, sports arena/stadium or other similar uses. 

Gross Floor Area

Required Number of Loading Spaces

40,000 to 120,000 square feet

1

120,001 to 264,000 square feet

2

264,001 to 520,000 square feet

3

520,001 to 784,000 square feet

4

784,001 to 920,000 square feet

5

For each additional 200,000 square feet

1 additional

C.    For storefronts and other similar buildings sited adjacent to a street without individual businesses over 10,000 square feet and no alley access, loading space may be provided by on-street designated loading zones upon approval of the public works and utilities director as a Type I decision based on access and safety considerations. A site plan, proposed conditions, and reason for on-street loading facilities shall be included in the application.

D.    Each loading space required by this section shall be a minimum of 10 feet wide, 30 feet long, and have an unobstructed vertical clearance of 14 feet six inches, and shall be surfaced, improved and maintained as required by this chapter. Loading spaces shall be located so that trucks shall not obstruct pedestrian or vehicle traffic movement or project into any public right-of-way. All loading space areas shall be separated from parking areas and shall be designated as truck loading spaces.

E.    Any loading space located within 100 feet of areas zoned for residential use shall be screened and operated as necessary to reduce noise and visual impacts. Noise mitigation measures may include architectural or structural barriers, beams, walls, or restrictions on the hours of operation.

F.    Multi-story self-service storage facilities shall provide two loading spaces, and single-story facilities one loading space, adjacent to each building entrance that provides common access to interior storage units. Each loading berth shall measure not less than 25 feet by 12 feet with an unobstructed vertical clearance of 14 feet six inches, and shall be surfaced, improved and maintained as required by this chapter. Any floor area additions or structural alterations to a building shall be required to provide loading space or spaces as set forth in this chapter. [Ord. 4804 § 4, 2018; Ord. 4656 § 1 (Exh. O2), 2013.]

15.550.080 Parking lot design and construction standards.

A.    Parking Area Access Standards. See Section 6, Parking Standards, of the city’s public works development standards.

B.    Parking Stall and Aisle Dimensions. See Section 6, Parking Standards, of the city’s public works development standards.

C.    Parking Area Development and Design Provisions.

1.    For parking area surfacing standards, see Section 6, Parking Standards, of the city’s public works development standards. Fire lane shall be in accordance with the International Fire Code (IFC) as adopted in ECC Title 3.

2.    For on-site parking lot location standards along street frontages, see Chapter 15.510 ECC, Site Orientation.

3.    For pedestrian access provisions within parking lots, see ECC 15.520.040, Internal pedestrian access and design.

4.    For lighting standards, see Chapter 15.580 ECC, Outdoor Lighting.

5.    For parking lot screening and internal landscaping, see ECC 15.570.050(A), Surface Parking Lot Landscaping. [Ord. 4656 § 1 (Exh. O2), 2013.]