Tweaking Manteca’s parking requirements for new development is expected to open the door for more apartments as well as prevent a repeat of the Starbucks-Jamba Juice debacle near the Highway 99/Yosemite Avenue interchange.
In the latest overhaul of city ordinances governing development rules that have been promised for years but previous city administrations and councils failed to deliver, the council last week modified the minimum vehicle parking ratios for everything from banks to quick service restaurants.
The biggest impact is expected to be clearing the way for more apartments.
Developer Bill Filios , who is working on a proposal to build 400 apartments immediately east of The Promenade Shops at Orchard Valley between the 120 Bypass and Atherton Drive, noted the city ordinance as it was written would have required 900 parking spaces for 400 apartments. That coupled with open space requirements would have tied up more than 30 percent of the land making it economically unfeasible to build apartments.
The previous parking requirement called for one covered space per dwelling unit for townhouses, condos, or apartments plus one uncovered space. It also required 0.25 parking spaces for each apartment in a complex with seven or more units. Those standards applied whether it was a studio or one to three bedrooms.
The new minimum parking requirement is one covered parking space for every unit regardless of the number of bedrooms. In addition there must be additional parking at a ratio of 0.25 spaces per studio, 0.5 for a one bedroom, and one space for two bedrooms or more.
Associate Planner Adam Paszkowski told the council the changed approved by the Planning Commission aligned with neighboring cities and ensured adequate off-street parking.
Councilwoman Debby Moorhead was concerned changing the minimum would create issues such as on her street in a new southeast Manteca neighborhood of traditional single family houses where driveways are filled cars and often time there is no space on the streets in front of homes.
New home builders noted that is due in part to a growing trend where roughly 20 percent of new homes are being purchased by multiple families including many that aren’t related. At the same time more buyers are renting rooms out to make mortgage payments while older families often have teen drivers or young adults who are still staying at home due to the high cost of rentals. In some cases it still includes people who may have additional cars they work on as a hobby.
Filios and others shared that well-managed apartment complexes stay on top of the number of vehicles parked in complexes.
A spot check with the city’s largest complexes built since the mid-1980s indicated parking is not an issue. However, at some older and smaller complexes cars exceeding provided parking spaces have been a problem.
The other key change is carving out a new minimum standard for quick-service restaurants that places such as Starbucks, Jamba Juice, and McDonald’s would fall under.
Previously all restaurants and other eating and drinking establishments were required to provide seven spaces for every 1,000 square feet. That still stands except for quick service restaurants that must now provide one space for every 100 square feet.
The previous standard is what led to the acute lack of parking space when Starbucks and Jamba Juice opened on East Yosemite Avenue. That problem was complicated by city planners that approved a drive-thru lane for Starbucks that effectively blocked access to available spaces. When In and Out came in, they provided more spaces beyond the minimum. However when a series of eating places ranging from Chipotle’s to sub shops, yogurt shops, and BBQ places opened on in a strip center built to the south along Hulsey Way to cater to freeway traffic, the entire area turned into a jungle in terms of trying to find parking from 11 a.m. on to 7 p.m. seven days a week.
The City Council unanimously approved the changes that established new required minimum vehicle parking ratios.
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