Riverton mulls minimum parking requirement for new multiunit housing developments

Riverton is working on an ordinance that would require a minimum amount of parking for new multiunit housing developments in town.

The idea arose after residents expressed concern about a multiunit housing development that could be built across the street from Riverton High School.

The Riverton City Council has already modified its ‘disorderly house’ ordinance in an effort to address some of those concerns.

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At the same time, the council also asked the Riverton Planning Commission to undertake a general review of local multiunit zoning rules.

That review revealed some issues, planning commission member Bethany Baldes said during a presentation to the council last week.

Among other items, Baldes pointed out that the city only sets a maximum parking limit for residential developments – there is no minimum requirement.

She recommended the city impose minimum parking requirements in order to lessen the impacts of multiunit developments on surrounding neighborhoods.

Fewer units

Parking minimums also limit the number of units a developer can build on a given lot, Baldes continued.

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Up to 50 percent of an R-4 property can be covered by buildings, she explained, meaning that, without parking minimums, a one-acre lot could house up to 90 units.

Planning commission member Bethany Baldes used this image to illustrate the space currently allowed for main or accessory buildings on a one-acre, R-4 lot in Riverton. h/t City of Riverton

With minimum parking requirements, however, that same one-acre lot could only accommodate up to 27 units, Baldes said.

Planning commission member Bethany Baldes used this image to show what a one-acre R-4 lot could look like with minimum parking requirements. h/t City of Riverton

“(That is) a lot more reasonable and is going to fit the feel that we want,” she said.

Mayor Richard Gard said the change would also “eliminate the large, expansive fear that people have of big, 90-unit (developments) coming in.”

He suggested that “we need to come back and get an ordinance that adopts this (change) to R-4.”

Community development director Michael Miller said the council could officially consider the proposed R-4 ordinance changes as soon as next month.

For more information call Riverton City Hall at 856-2227 or visit the city’s website.

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