One topic we spent a fair amount of time on was the parking determination of the proposed Main Street Covenant church, which is planning to take over a large section of the Stonegate Shopping Center, which currently houses the Dollar Store, Early Chilldhood Education class, and others office and retail. The issue was of parking spots, and whether the Stonegate could handle the influx of church goers using the facility.
So our city's code has a section that identifies the minimum requirements for parking, usually based on square footage. So for the school facility (ECFE), the code requires 76 parking spaces . For for the retail spaces (Dollar Store and Dominos) 43 parking spaces. Banks, offices and the proposed church space had similar numbers... and after adding it all up, the Mound city code suggests that Stonegate should have 203 parking spots.
Stonegate has 137 parking spaces on location.
|Stonegate Shopping Center - Do we really need to worry there's not enough parking spaces here?|
Then think about all the times you've driven past this location, and how empty the parking lot is.
So during the discussion, we, of course, all realize how absurd this all is, but because our code has these numbers, we have to meet, educate everyone on the issue, laugh politely about it, make up a pretend number so all the uses of the facility will "fit" and approve the "Parking Determination" for Stonegate, and Main Covenant Church.
And it was pointed out towards the end, there is lots of on street parking on Wilshire and Eden.
The crazy part is... we have this big thick book of city code that is supposed to have the answers for these questions. Since this project (like apparently most projects in Mound) didn't fit nicely and neatly into our code, we had to essentially ignore it. We talked about it for at least a half hour, and I don't want to think about how much staff time was spent on it for the previous weeks.
I understand the need for transparency, and I can appreciate guidelines like our city code contains. But when simple, common-sense, logical solutions are hung up by the creaking and groaning of out dated city code and the fear of phone calls from folks who complain, we have a problem.