City task force mulls business parking exemptions

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By Denise Dunbar | ddunbar@alextimes.com

City staff on Tuesday night advocated exempting new businesses occupying less than 10,000 square feet from providing any parking spaces. The recommendation was one of several made at the sixth meeting of Alexandria’s Parking Standards for New Development Projects Task Force.

Staff also recommended applying the parking exemption to the first 10,000 square feet of larger developments, and establishing maximum and minimum numbers of parking spaces that businesses are allowed to provide.

The 10,000 square feet exemption was the largest the task force considered, along with exemptions for businesses occupying 5,000 and 2,500 square feet. There was no consideration of leaving parking requirements as they currently stand.

Task force member Danielle Fidler and chair Nathan Macek expressed concern about exempting businesses so large entirely from parking requirements.

Fidler noted that under the proposed formula, three adjacent Del Ray restaurants — Holy Cow, Pork Barrel BBQ and Sushi Bar — would have been entirely exempt from providing parking in a neighborhood where residents already vie with dining patrons for scarce spaces.

The group next meets on Sept. 19, and hopes to finalize its recommendations for the planning commission and city council at its Oct. 17 meeting