Reduced parking requirement approved for new Ace Hardware store on 10th Avenue South

A variance for the off street parking requirements was approved for a proposed new Ace Hardware store on 10th Avenue South.

The proposed new store is 23,100 square feet, which under city code, would require one parking space per 300 square feet or 77 parking spaces.

The site at 3527 10th Ave. S. currently contains five parcels to the north of the existing alley and three parcels to the south of the alley. The existing store is located on the south parcels with the parking located on the north parcels. The proposed design locates the store on the north parcels with a proposed outside garden center area and parking and other site improvements on the south portion of the site, according to the city staff report.

Due to the site constraints and the amount of real estate dedicated to storm-water management, the property owner requested consideration for a parking space reduction.

The Board of Adjustment approved the request during a Feb. 1 meeting.

The property owner will be required to aggregate the parcels on each side of the alley to comply with setbacks and zoning regulations. The new configuration will allow for the existing alley to remain and function as a two-way drive aisle in front of the proposed store.

“Due to the tight constraints, mainly caused by the existing alley, it is not feasible for the project to comply with landscaping, parking and storm-water management requirements,” according to the staff report.

The proposed project will require about 11,000 square feet of landscaping area, of which 8,275 square feet must be available for water detention. Of that square footage approximately 2,700 square feet of storage area with two feet of depth is required to accommodate the required volume for storm-water, according to the staff report.

If the variance request was denied, the property owner had indicated to staff that the storm-water storage areas would be over 30 inches deep, which would require fencing, negatively impacting the required landscaping areas, according to the staff report.

Staff recommended the reduction in the requirement for off street parking of 7-10 spaces.

Adjacent property owners were notified of the public hearing and notice was published in the paper in January.

 

The reduced parking requirement doesn’t reduce the number of handicapped accessible spaces proposed for the site and on-street parking is available on 36th Street South and 9th Avenue South, but staff doesn’t anticipate overflow parking.

Since the proposed new Ace store would be on the north side of the property and parking on the south, there will be more access to the site from 10th Avenue South versus 9th Avenue South, helping to keep the integrity of that residential street intact, according to the staff report.

“Excessive parking lots reduce density, increase the cost of development, create an unhealthy built environment, contribute to the heat island effect associated with urban areas and decrease the infiltration of stormwater into the ground,” according to the staff report.

Staff’s assessment is that the reduced parking lot will improve stormwater management, which is consistent with the objectives in the city’s parking code.

A strict enforcement of the code would create “unnecessary hardship, owing to conditions unique to the property,” according to the staff report.