Transit-Oriented Development Parking Study
Identifying Strategies that support livable Communities
The City of Fort Collins is conducting a Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Overlay Zone parking study to examine and recommend parking requirements based on parking demand information and best practices.
Adopted in 2006-07 the TOD Overlay Zone standards removed minimum parking requirements for mixed-use and multi-family dwellings with the intent of:
- Incentivizing redevelopment on challenging infill sites
- Showing commitment to the MAX Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) investment
- Encouraging walkable compact urban development
In 2013, as development activity increased in the TOD Overlay Zone, the Planning and Zoning Board and City Council expressed concerns with the increasing number of multi-family and mixed-use housing (with a student-oriented housing emphasis). The concerns include a perceived lack of development-provided parking spaces in relation to the parking demand they are generating and, in turn, potential spill-over parking into adjacent neighborhoods. Concerns have also been expressed about the need for parking structures to accommodate the envisioned density.
1. Implement parking standards for multi-family and mixed-use residential and commercial development.
- Ensure parking standards are in conformance with adopted community plans such as City Plan.
- Explore a comprehensive approach to TOD Overlay Zone parking requirements.
- Base standards on data collected and best practices for a community the size of Fort Collins.
2. Engage community stakeholders.
3. Establish a policy foundation for parking as an amendment to the existing Parking Plan.
4. Evaluate a possible parking impact fee or parking fee-in-lieu.
Process and Schedule
This study will occur January 2014 through May 2014.
Extensive outreach to residents, businesses, employees, commuters and others will take place throughout the study to get input and feedback.
- Planning and Zoning Board Meeting: July 10
- Parking Advisory Board Meeting: July 14
- Transportation Board Meeting: July 16
- City Council Meeting: August 19 (First Reading)
- City Council Meeting: September 2 (Second Reading)
Frequently Asked Questions
Below are some frequently asked questions about the TOD Parking Study. Click on a question to reveal the answer. If you have a specific question not answered here, please feel free to .
What is Transit-Oriented Development (TOD)?
Transit-oriented development, or TOD, is development that includes a mixture of residential and commercial uses within convenient walking distance (typically recognized as quarter-mile or less) of transit stations and incorporates attractive and safe pedestrian and bicycle amenities such as public plazas and bike trails.
Why do we have a TOD?
Establishing a TOD can have significant benefits to a community. TOD can provide mobility options for a variety of people, reduce air pollution and energy consumption rates, stimulate economic development, and reduce congestion.
What is the TOD Overlay Zone?
The TOD Overlay Zone is an area, primarily consisting of the commercial districts in the College Avenue and Mason Street Corridors, Downtown and the CSU Campus areas, that has an additional set of development standards to encourage transit-supported, compact, and walkable infill and redevelopment projects. These development standards include reduced parking requirements and pedestrian-friendly design requirements.
How does a TOD affect adjacent neighborhoods?
The intent of the TOD Overlay Zone is not to overly impact or urbanize adjacent neighborhoods; however, one concern often expressed by surrounding neighborhoods regards parking spillover.
Why is the City conducting a parking study in the TOD Overlay Zone?
The City is currently conducting this study to examine and recommend parking requirements based on parking demand information and best practices. In late 2013, City Council enacted a stop-gap ordinance requiring minimum parking in the TOD Overlay Zone and requested the TOD Parking Study be conducted as a result of concerns about the lack of development-provided parking and the potential for spillover into adjacent neighborhoods.
Why is there typically less parking required for the housing located in TOD areas?
As TOD areas are within a quarter-mile of quality public transportation, infill projects typically plan to maximize the use of transit and other alternative modes of transportation through a TOD corridor. Residents within the TOD, along with commuters and customers frequenting the area, would have the opportunity to use transit for many of their trips and thereby reduce the need for private vehicle usage.
Does the City plan to build additional parking garages in the TOD?
The City has already built parking garages in the core downtown area and continues to look for opportunities to utilize parking structures rather than paved parking lots to accommodate growth in the downtown area. The City is also evaluating public-private parking structure arrangements to accommodate public parking demand and to provide a parking resource for private development.
Will the study address requirements for on-site bicycle parking as well as cars?
Not exclusive to the TOD Overlay Zone, the City already requires on-site bicycle parking, including enclosed bike storage and traditional fixed bike racks. For more information on bicycle planning in Fort Collins, please visit: fcgov.com/bikeplan.
When will the study be completed?
The study was initiated in January 2014. Extensive outreach including public open houses, focus groups, and an online survey has been taking place to solicit input and feedback from residents, businesses, employees, commuters and others. The study will conclude in May 2014 and new parking requirements will be adopted before September 13, 2014, when the temporary parking ordinance expires.
What type of recommendations will the TOD Overlay Study make?
As this study is currently in progress, specific recommendations are not determined; however, the study seeks to implement parking standards for multi-family and mixed-use residential and commercial development that are in conformance with adopted community plans like City Plan, comprehensive in their approach to addressing parking requirements, and based on data collected in Fort Collins and best practices used in communities our size. These could include making minimum parking requirements which vary according to land use, on-street paid parking in specific areas, and public-private partnerships for parking structures to accommodate public parking demand and to provide a parking resource for private development.
What does the City plan to do with the study results?
The study objectives are to implement parking standards and establish a policy foundation for parking in the TOD Overlay Zone. City Council will be reviewing recommendations from the Planning and Zoning Board at the May 27, 2014 Work Session. Based on direction received from Council, staff will work toward adoption in the summer months of 2014.
Seth E. Lorson, AICP, City Planner