Sesuit Harbor Zoning Parking Requirements

Thursday we will start to discuss parking requirements  for uses in the Sesuit Harbor Zoning District. To help us along with this discussion, I have researched zoning standards in other jurisdictions. The net was cast broadly to escape the old CCPEDC (Cape Cod Planning and Economic Development District) standards and look for more modern, mixed use, marina standards.

At present, Dennis Zoning would treat each use as a stand-alone one, applying principal use standards to complementary uses. Hardly indicative of how these areas actually operate. Here, we require one parking space for every two marina slips, one parking space for every four seats plus one per employee for a restaurant use; and one parking space for every three seats for private clubs.

The zoning by-law in Everett Washington captures more modern thinking about mixed use marinas quite succinctly:

 “D.    Regulations—Boating Facility Parking.

“1.    To the maximum extent possible, marinas and accessory uses shall share parking facilities.”

 “Marinas and accessory uses shall share parking”, since the accessory use is there to serve the principal use on the property, and is supposed to be incidental to that principal use, that makes some sense. “To the maximum extent possible” recognizes that waterfront areas are prone to attracting non-boat activities and suggests that accessory uses should provide some parking above and beyond that required of the water oriented uses.

So, how do we come up with the right parking relationship?

The Institute of Transportation Engineers looked at this issue in its Parking Generation Handbook. The Handbook looked at peak parking demand for many land uses. For marinas the study looked at Seattle, Washington and examined a 1,753 berth marina with a 34,000 sf restaurant/retail site. They found the following parking demands at this mixed use facility: weekday peak parking demand 0.27 parking spaces per berth; Saturday peak parking 0.35 parking spaces per berth; and Sunday on Memorial Day weekend parking demand peaked at 0.59 parking spaces per berth. ITE did not attempt to separate the parking accumulation by the individual uses on the site. Others have gone back to the raw data and have for weekday and Saturday, finding peak boat related parking demands of 0.21 and 0.25 parked cars per berth respectively on these days. At the high end, this suggests about 30% more parking is needed to support accessory uses at marinas over the water related parking.

A few others have also explored this relationship, Schooner Cove Marina in Nanoose Bay, British Columbia found a 360 berth mixed use marina required 0.24 spaces per slip or 1 space per 4.17 berth for the water related activities and 0.44 parking spaces per berth for the full site development.

Another study, out of New South Wales, Australia, found a parking demand per berth of 0.5 per wet berth, 0.2 per dry stored vessel, and 0.5 per employee, for the water side uses on a mixed use site. Overall, for a 270 wet/60 dry berth marina with 48,000 sf of restaurant/retail space they arrived at a ratio of 0.76 spaces per wet berthed vessel. Another study in Australia suggested dropping the wet berth parking demand down to 0.3, and using the 0.2 for dry storage, 0.5 per employee figures. That study suggested 1 space for every 300 sf of accessory use space. This would lead to a parking rate of 0.95 per wet slip.

Interestingly, very few studies separate out charters and excursion vessels from overall marina operations. Those that do suggest 2-3 spaces per charter boat and more complicated formulas for excursions. Weekday excursion parking demand being equated to 1 parking space for every four seats at 25% occupancy and weekend parking demand at 1 space for every four seats at 67% occupancy. So, a 50 passenger vessel on a weekend would require 9 peak period parking spaces. ITE, Schooner Cove and the other studies that looked at parking accumulation rolled these uses into the overall site usage.

If we considered Northside Marina (117 slips) and the standards discussed above:

ITE Sunday Standard (0.59 per slip) 70 spaces needed

Schooner Cove Standard (0.44 per slip) 52 spaces needed

New South Wales Standard (0.76 per slip) 89 spaces needed

New South Wales individual boat uses 120 spaces needed

Wet slips (0.5) 59

Dry Storage (0.2) 34

Other uses 27

Hamilton, Australia (0.95 per slip) 111 spaces needed

Northside Marina is providing on the Site Plan currently under review approximately 170 spaces. If we accepted today’s standard for marinas, 1 space for every 2 slips, and the standard 1 space for every 5 dry stored boats we would arrive at 94 boat oriented parking spaces. If, as these other studies suggest, we need 30% more spaces for land side accessory uses, we would need a total of 123 parking spaces to meet the peak demands at Northside Marina.

The private club aspect of Dennis Zoning is a bit perplexing. Basing parking on seating has no direct relationship to the actual capacity of a facility. It also sets a standard that is higher than required for restaurants (one space for four seats). I could only find one similar private club standard and that was for a city in Florida. That by-law required 1 space for every 200 sf of gross floor area. Under this standard, the Dennis Yacht Club, at about 5,600 sf, would require 28 parking spaces, approximately the number of spaces they have on their site today.

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