The purpose of the Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Overlay Zone is to encourage transit-supported, compact, and walkable infill and redevelopment projects. Adopted in 2006-07, the TOD Overlay Zone standards removed minimum parking requirements for mixed-use and multi-family dwellings. The intent is to incentivize redevelopment on challenging infill sites, and show commitment to the MAX Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) investment.
In 2013, as infill and redevelopment activity increased in the TOD Overlay Zone, the Planning and Zoning Board and the City Council expressed concerns about the lack of development-provided parking spaces in relation to the parking demand and the potential for spillover parking into adjacent neighborhoods. Concerns have also been expressed about the need for parking structures to accommodate the envisioned density.
To address these concerns, the City Council adopted a “stop-gap” ordinance requiring minimum off-street parking in the TOD Overlay Zone. The temporary minimum requirement is 70% of the existing standard with an alternative compliance element that permits reduced parking if supported through a parking impact study.
Staff and a consultant have conducted extensive public outreach and research on national best practices as part of the Study. The community has provided consistent feedback that, although the City’s vision for walkable and transit-oriented infill and redevelopment is commendable, and cars may not be needed for routine trips, residents still own cars and, therefore, vehicle storage and access needs to be accommodated. At the May 5 Planning and Zoning Board hearing, the Board voted unanimously to recommend that City Council adopt the TOD Parking Study and accompanying Land Use Code (LUC) revisions, with the following key recommendations:
The first two recommendations listed above were adopted by City Council on November 18 as Land Use Code Revisions. Recommendations three and four are policy direction for implementation which is outside the scope of the parking study. However, recommendation three, on-street paid parking, is already being considered for further outreach and implementation by Parking Services through a budget offer for 2015-16. Recommendation four, public-private partnerships for parking structures will be managed by the Economic Health Office to create the criteria necessary to implement such partnerships.
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 PGFjbGFzcz0=">contact us.
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