The Monett City Council proposed revising non-residential street parking regulations for commercial and industrial use at the September monthly meeting on Friday.
City Administrator Dennis Pyle said the city has been approached by industries interested in building warehouse space in Monett. City regulations required one parking space per 200 square feet of floor space. The industries said warehouses required little staffing. A parking lot meeting city requirements could boost a project expense by $100,000, enough to justify building elsewhere instead.
Pyle agreed the current ordinance did not make sense for a warehouse and took another look at the off-street parking ordinance. Regulations used in Carthage, Branson, Republic, Springfield and Joplin were reviewed, some using floor space and others using number of employees as the determining factor.
The new ordinance introduced on Friday reduces the off-street parking requirement for a warehouse to one parking space per employee or for 800 square feet of floor space, whichever one is greater. For industrial off-street parking, the ordinance would cut the current requirement in half, having one space per 400 square feet or by number of employees, whichever is greater.
New requirements are proposed in the ordinance for paving. Currently the regulations call for an all-weather surface but is not specific. The revision specifies parking lots must be asphalt or concrete. Seal coat or chip and seal would not be allowed. Pyle said the regulation requiring paving for multi-family housing off-street parking has not changed.
While looking at parking lots, requirements for restaurant parking also came up. Pyle said the current regulation calling for one parking space per five restaurant seats was proving to be inadequate. Customer parking was overflowing into surrounding streets in many cases.
The new standard proposed one parking space for every three restaurant seats, or for every 100 feet of floor space, whichever is greater. Pyle said the requirement is in the middle of standards used by the other cities reviewed.
The ordinance would apply to new construction or alterations at existing restaurants. Public comment on the proposed ordinance was scheduled for the next monthly meeting on Oct. 19.