Shared Parking and Why You Should be Using It

July 10, 2017 by James Roman
Photo source: P3GM

Did you know that most cities allow nearby developments to share parking facilities?  There are many advantages to shared parking; it’s strange more developers don’t do it.  A major advantage in sharing parking is that a new development would require less parking area.  This fact alone would cut construction costs.  Shrinking the parking area also reduces the amount of new impervious cover which leads to a smaller required detention volume.  Less parking and detention volume, reduces the amount of land required to develop the site which also lowers the overall cost.  Alternatively, the extra land could be used to expand the proposed building or add additional buildings to the site which increases the usable and/or leasable area.

Photo source: Lad Studios

In the City of Houston, the shared parking requirements are outlined in Section 26-500 of the Code of Ordinances.  The following table is used to determine the minimum number of parking spaces required for multiple uses.  Take the number of required parking stalls for each use, multiply it by the percentage shown in the table, then add the numbers.  The timeframe with the highest total is the minimum number of spaces required.

For example, it would be advantageous to try to build a school next to an existing church (assuming the church would enter into a shared parking agreement).  That’s because the peak usage time for a school is during a typical work day and the peak usage time for a church is during the weekend.

A shared parking agreement in the form of a memorandum of lease or a reciprocal easement agreement must be submitted along with the site plan to the Planning Department for approval. Section 26-501 of the Code of Ordinances outlines the requirements of the lease/easement.

Shared parking is a great avenue to lower construction costs and increase the overall utilization of a development.

Our team of civil, mechanical, structural and traffic engineers can help you plan your project and the parking area. We invite you to contact us today.

Written by James Roman

James Roman

James Roman is the Education Services Market Director and based in our Houston office. He is a Professional Engineer in the states of Texas and Florida. He has been involved in a wide variety of projects throughout the state of Texas. His extensive experience includes project management, planning and design, feasibility studies, platting, permitting, and construction management. James puts a large emphasis on project deliverables and client relationships.