Parking lots, loading areas, and similar features are necessary elements in the built environment. However, these infrastructure improvements can often cause negative impacts. They increase stormwater volume and velocity, surface pollutants, and surface level heat and glare. Poor design can increase the risk of collision for motorists, pedestrians, and cyclists. To mitigate these negative impacts, and to provide adequate service, the City of Tupelo has enacted standards to regulate the construction, expansion, and renovation of such facilities. These standards are intended to relieve traffic congestion in streets, minimize detrimental effects on adjacent properties, and ensure uniform development of parking areas throughout the City. Additionally, good design of parking lots can improve safety and help maintain the aesthetic character Tupelo currently has.
8.1.2 Off Street Parking Required
There shall be provided at the time of the erection of any building, or at the time any principal building is enlarged or increased in capacity by adding dwelling units, guest rooms, seats, or floor area, permanent off-street parking spaces in the amount specified by this Section. A change in use in an existing building may also require different parking standards. In the MUD district, the Director of Development Services or designee will determine whether the proposed development shall be exempt from parking requirements. Such determination shall be based on the building’s size and location and the presence of available on-street or shared off-street parking.
8.2 Basic Standards
8.2.1 Minimum and Maximum Parking Standards
(1) Table 8.2.7, Off Street Parking Standards, lists parking requirements for each use and shall be used to calculate parking spaces needed for a proposed development. All site plans shall include the location and dimensions of all off-street parking in accordance with this Section the Code. Such plans shall include disabled parking spaces according to the requirements of the currently adopted building code. This information shall be in sufficient detail to enable Development Services staff to determine if the minimum standards have been met.
(2) Multi-family and non-residential development shall be permitted to apply for additional parking. A development with a total parking requirement of twenty (20) or fewer spaces may provide up to twenty-five percent (25%) more spaces as a permitted use. Such development may apply for a compatible use permit for twenty-six to fifty percent (26%-50%) more parking spaces and a flexible use permit for fifty-one percent (51%) or more parking spaces. A development of twenty-one (21) or more spaces may provide up to twenty-five percent (25%) more spaces as a permitted use. Such development may apply for a compatible use permit for twenty-six to fifty percent (26%-50%) more parking spaces and a flexible use permit for fifty-one percent (51%) or more additional spaces.
(3) The process of obtaining a compatible or flexible use permit shall allow the developer to show how mitigation strategies or design alternatives shall offset the additional stormwater runoff and other impacts the increased parking will create. These measures could include grass parking, pervious pavement, stormwater islands, bio-retention areas, increased landscaping, or other tools. In determining whether to approve a conditional use permit, the City of Tupelo shall also consider the site design of the development and the visual effect of additional parking. Developers are encouraged to locate parking in an area that is less visible from the street and thus mitigates any adverse visual impact.
8.2.2 Combination of Required Parking Space
A development which incorporates two (2) or more uses may combine required parking space for those uses in one (1) lot. In such cases, some of the required space assigned to one (1) use may be shared by another if the peak use times are likely to be different (for instance, an office and a church). Up to one-half (½) of the required parking space for each use may be shared. The Development Services Director shall determine the uses based on signed contracts from tenants, a site plan which clearly demonstrates the future use of each space, or another means.
8.2.3 Shared Parking
The joint use of shared off-street parking between two (2) uses may be made by contract or written permission between two (2) or more adjacent property owners. Entities that have peak hours at different times may jointly use or share the same parking spaces with a maximum of half (½) of the parking spaces credited to both uses. Where feasible, shared parking shall be adjacent to the principal use or connected by a pedestrian walkway and shall not be separated from the principal use by a major thoroughfare.
8.2.4 Remote Parking Space
If some or all of the off-street parking spaces required by this Code cannot reasonably be located on the same lot as the principal use, then such spaces may be provided on land within four hundred (400) feet on the main entrance to such principal use, provided that:
(1) Such land is owned by the same person or persons as the principal use;
(2) Such land is not separated from the principal use by a major thoroughfare or arterial street.
(3) Such land is located in a zoning district within which the principal use would be allowed as a permitted or special use;
(4) There is a pedestrian walkway or sidewalk connecting the parking area to the use it serves or will be before certificate of occupancy is issued.
(5) In such cases, the applicant for a building permit or certificate of occupancy for the principal use shall submit, along with his or her application for such permit or certificate, a legal instrument, duly executed and acknowledged which subjects and restricts the land to use for parking in connection with the principal use. Upon the issuance of a building permit or certificate of occupancy, the applicant shall register the legal instrument in the Chancery Clerk’s Office.
(6) The restrictions of this Section shall not apply to those uses which share parking spaces as provided above.
8.2.5 Reduction in Parking Space
(1) As part of the review and approval of a site plan, the Development Services Director may approve a request for the reduction in the number of parking spaces required by this Section upon finding that the reduced number of parking spaces will be sufficient to satisfy the demand for parking expected for the use, considering the nature of the use, the number of trips generated by the use, the times of day when the use generates the most trips, any shared parking agreement in effect, and the extent to which other establishments are located on the same property and may reduce the number of vehicle trips required between different establishments.
(2) In cases where no site plan is required, or where a previously approved site plan remains in effect for the property, the Planning Committee may grant a variance from the parking requirements above only upon finding that the reduced number of parking spaces will be sufficient to satisfy the demand for parking expected for the use, considering the nature of the use, the number of trips generated by the use, the times of day when the use generates the most trips, and the extent to which other establishments are located on the same property and may reduce the number of vehicle trips required between different establishments, in addition to finding that the variance meets the general standards for variances set forth in this Section.
8.2.6 Timing of Construction
All parking areas required under this Section shall be completed prior to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy for the use or uses which they serve. In some cases, provided the owner shall execute an agreement to complete the required parking within six (6) months of the date of occupancy of the building, the Building Official may authorize such an extension.
8.2.7 Off-Street Parking Standards
8.2.8. Computation of Off-Street Parking Requirements
When measurements of the number of required spaces result in fractions, the space requirements shall be rounded upward to the next highest whole number.
126.96.36.199 Different Use Areas
Except as provided for in this Section, parking shall be calculated separately for the area of each different use in a building or on a site, including all accessory uses. For instance, a building which has a portion open to the public as retail and a portion used by the business as warehouse space shall have parking computed based on the floor area open to customers and the floor area used as a warehouse.
188.8.131.52 On-Street Parking
Except as provided for in this Section, on-street parking within public or private streets, driveways, or drives, shall not be used to satisfy the off-street parking or overflow requirements prescribed by Section 8.2.
184.108.40.206 Unimpeded Parking
No parking spaces shall be located so as to require the moving of any vehicle on the premises in order to enter or leave any other space. Notwithstanding the above, the Development Services Director may, on a case-by-case basis, allow stacking spaces provided for auto-related uses (e.g. fleet vehicles) to count toward the minimum required parking, as long as such spaces are not part of areas required for site ingress or egress, or areas intended for fueling.
220.127.116.11 Parking Space Adjacent to Alleys
Where off-street parking facilities are located adjacent to an alley, the width of such alley may be accounted as a portion of the required maneuvering and access area, but not as part of the parking spaces required.
8.3 Improvement, Design and Location Standards
8.3.1 Residential Parking Standards
(1) Residential uses shall provide paved parking areas according to the standards in table 8.2.7. No more than twenty five percent (25%) of the front yard area of any residential property shall be paved.
(2) Driveways in Agriculture/Open Space and Low Density Residential Districts on residential lots of two (2) or more acres may be surfaced with gravel or crushed stone.
(3) Residential uses shall not have recreational vehicles, commercial vehicles, boats, trailers of fifteen (15) feet or less, or similar vehicles stored in front of the front edge of the house. They may be stored in the side yard, back yard, garage, or in a carport or driveway behind the front edge of the house. Any such vehicle shall be stored within the side setback, at least five (5) feet from the rear setback, and on a concrete pad or driveway.
(4) Commercial vehicles rated greater than three-quarter (¾) ton, buses, trailers exceeding fifteen (15) feet in length, tractors, tractor trailers, heavy equipment such as bulldozers and road graders, and similar vehicles are prohibited in all subdivisions and on lots of forty thousand (40,000) sq. ft. or less, except for unloading, loading, or construction as approved by a City of Tupelo building permit. Under no circumstances shall any of the above mentioned items be stored in front of the front edge of a house or closer than fifty (50) feet to any property line.
(5) A recreational vehicle shall not be used for sleeping quarters while in a residential district for greater than fifteen (15) days per year.
8.3.2 Non-Residential and Apartment Development Parking Standards
(1) All off-street parking in non-residential and apartment developments, including exits, entrances, maneuvering areas, drive aisles, and parking spaces shall adhere to the following standards:
(a) They shall have access to a dedicated street or other access approved by the Department of Development Services.
(b) They shall be permanently maintained by the owner(s) in compliance with the approved site plan and/or preliminary subdivision plat.
(c) All parking and loading spaces shall be covered with an all-weather surface designed to support anticipated loads as specified in the City of Tupelo Design Standards and Construction Specifications for Streets, Storm Water, Sanitary Sewer and Water Distribution manual. Unpaved parking may be permitted for up to seventy-five percent (75%) of required parking for places of worship and/or assembly and on a case-by-case basis for similar uses that have very limited hours of peak service. A porous pavement system may be allowed in place of conventional paving materials, subject to the approval of the City Engineer.
(d) All off street parking areas shall be required to have curbing around the entire parking lot unless waived by the Development Services Department because landscape islands, stormwater islands, bio-retention areas, low-impact parking methods, increased landscaping, or other tools will capture stormwater on site.
(e) They shall meet the parking lot landscaping standards of Section 9.7, Vehicular Use Area Landscaping.
(f) They shall be located and designed to avoid undue interference with the use of public streets. Parking areas for nonresidential and apartment development uses shall provide suitable maneuvering room so that all vehicles may enter an abutting street in a forward direction. Backing into public streets is prohibited for all nonresidential uses and for apartment developments.
(g) They shall have a cross easement to adjacent parcels to provide vehicular and pedestrian connections between parking lots of abutting developments. Cross easements are required in order to reduce traffic and increase safety on main thoroughfares and to allow customers to visit multiple establishments without moving their vehicles.
(h) They shall have all parking spaces striped with four (4) inch lines.
8.4 Parking Space Dimensional Standards
* The parking bay dimensions are based on an allowance of a two (2) foot overhang. If the parking configuration is such that a wheel stop is being proposed, then the minimum depth of the parking bay shall be twenty (20) feet. If wheel stops are proposed for handicap accessible spaces only, the minimum parking bay depth does not need to be increased by two (2) feet.
8.4.1 Modification of Requirements: Parking spaces using geometric standards other than those specified in this Code may be approved if developed and sealed by a registered engineer with expertise in parking facility design subject to a determination by the City of Tupelo Engineer, or his/her designee, that the proposed facility will satisfy off-street requirements as adequately as would a facility using standard Code dimensions.
8.4.2 Location of Non-Residential Parking Lots
Parking lot location will vary based on zoning district. In some districts a developer may choose between Type 1, Walkable, or Type 2, Conventional. Parking to the side and rear has lower landscaping requirements than parking to the front, as provided in Section 9.7, Vehicular Use Area Landscaping. Also, an application for variance to exceed maximum parking standards may be granted only if the additional parking is located to the side or rear.
18.104.22.168 Type 1 – Walkable Development
Zoning districts that require walkable development standards are Medium Density Residential, Mixed-Use Residential and Mixed-Use Downtown. The zoning districts with the option of either walkable or conventional development are Mixed-Use Commercial Corridor, Mixed-Use Employment, and Mixed-Use Activity Center.
Parking in walkable developments will be to the side and rear of buildings rather than the front.
22.214.171.124 Type 2 – Conventional Development
Zoning districts that have conventional development regulations are Regional Commercial and Industrial. Zoning districts with the option for either conventional or walkable development are Mixed-Use Commercial Corridor, Mixed-Use Employment, and Mixed-Use Activity Center. Conventional developments may have parking in the front, side, or rear of buildings. Landscape requirements for front parking lots are shown in Section 9.7, Vehicular Use Area Landscaping.
8.4.3 Interior Design for All Parking Lots
The following requirements shall apply to all parking lots:
(1) Within a parking lot, a pedestrian walkway or landscaped divider shall be provided for every three (3) parking aisles. The use of the walkway or divider shall alternate across the parking lot. When using parking aisles running parallel to the building, one perpendicular pedestrian walkway shall be provided which connects the main entrance of the building to the parking area.
(2) Sidewalks or walkways of at least five (5) feet wide shall connect the parking lot to the building entrance(s). Where sidewalks or walkways abut parking spaces, they shall be a minimum of six and one-half (6 ½) feet wide. Ramps shall be provided at intervals along the sidewalk or walkway to allow adequate access to the parking lot.
(3) Sidewalks or walkways shall provide a distinct linkage between a main entrance to the building and a concentration of vehicle parking spaces in order to encourage its use by pedestrians.
(4) Landscaping shall be provided in all parking lots as provided in Section 9.7.6, Vehicular Use Area Landscaping.
(5) Landscaped islands with raised curbing may be used to define parking lot entrances, the ends of all parking aisles, and the location and pattern of primary internal access drives, to provide pedestrian refuge and accommodate sidewalks and walkways.
(6) All off-street parking and loading areas shall provide curbs, motor vehicle stops, or similar devices to prevent vehicles from overhanging a public right-of-way, sidewalk, walkway, landscape area, or adjacent property.
(7) The lot layout shall specifically address the interrelationship of pedestrian, vehicular and bicycle circulation in order to provide continuous, direct pedestrian access with a minimum of driveway and drive aisle crossings.
Access ways, walkways, and parking area shall be lighted by lighting fixtures, which shall be so installed as to protect the street and neighboring properties from direct glare or hazardous interference of any kind. All lighting proposed in access ways, walkways, and parking areas shall meet the minimum specifications in Chapter 6: Design and Development Standards.
8.6 Prohibited Uses
Non-residential uses may apply for accessory use permits for outdoor storage of vehicles and merchandise. Without such permit, non-residential parking lots shall not have overnight parking of vehicles and/or containers, including but not limited to, semi trucks, semi trailers, tractor trailers, recreational vehicles, mobile homes and other vehicles providing transient residency, or similar uses; outdoor storage or display of merchandise; and other vehicles and/or containers used for storage. Fleet vehicles for use with the business are excepted. The term non-residential parking lots shall not include multi-family and hotel parking lots. Temporary on demand storage boxes, portable shipping containers, or portable storage units are permitted for up to thirty (30) days. Vehicles and storage containers associated with permitted construction or renovation projects are permitted until a certificate of occupancy is obtained. See Chapter 7: Accessory and Temporary Structures and Uses for more information.
8.7 Off-Street Loading Requirements
Every structure or building used for trade, business or industry hereafter erected shall provide spaces as indicated herein for the loading, unloading, and maneuvering space of delivery vehicles For the purpose of this section an off-street loading space shall have minimum dimensions of twelve (12) feet by forty (40) feet and overhead clearance of fourteen (14) feet in height above grade. The loading area cannot be located in public right-of-way, private roads, drive aisle or parking spaces. Businesses that have deliveries that occur during non-business hours can use drive aisles and parking spaces, and a designated loading area is not required.