In early 2012, the City received a request from the owners of the Charlotte Plaza shopping center on Lansing Road to amend the zoning ordinance so as to reduce the number of parking spaces required for such uses. Reducing the number of spaces that the Charlotte Plaza was required to provide was necessary to permit the Plaza’s owners to sell a portion of the parking lot for the development of an O’Reilly’s Auto Parts store.
The standard then in the ordinance read as follows: “1 [space] for each 100 square feet of useable floor area for the first 15,000 square feet; 1 for each 125 square feet for the next 15,0001 to 450,000 square feet of useable floor area; 1 for each 150 square feet for that area in excess of 450,000 square feet of useable floor area.” The Plaza owners proposed the following language: “Applicant shall demonstrate parking demand, but not less than 1 space per 300 square feet of gross floor area.”
City Manager Gregg Guetschow undertook a study in an effort to determine the appropriate standard for parking for shopping center uses. His May 30, 2012 report to the Planning Commission concluded that the existing standard required an amount of spaces that exceeded typical peak demands. The report did not conclude, however, that the parking standard proposed by the Plaza owners in the proposed ordinance would provide sufficient parking.
Following the public hearing on the proposed ordinance, the Planning Commission recommended the reduction in the number of parking spaces proposed by the Plaza owners. City Council adopted these provisions in Ordinance No. 2012-01 on June 11, 2012.