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Posted on: March 16, 2021

Spearfish updating off-street parking requirements for multifamily dwellings

City of Spearfish

SPEARFISH, SD – To enable more efficient site planning, reduce impervious surfaces, and help broaden opportunities for revitalization in the downtown core, the City of Spearfish is updating its off-street parking requirements for multifamily dwellings.

The Spearfish City Council initiated a review of parking rates in multifamily land uses, regardless of zoning, after reviewing a variance request from the developer of an apartment complex seeking an adjustment to the parking requirements. Currently, City Code requires 2.25 off-street parking spaces per dwelling unit (with the exception of senior citizen housing) for multifamily housing, with separate requirements for property governed by funding programs administered by the South Dakota Housing and Development Authority. 

City staff performed an in-depth review of actual on-site parking usage at four multifamily properties around Spearfish and found that actual parking usage is significantly less than what is required by the ordinance. 

Under the proposed update, off-street parking requirements for multifamily housing would use the same formula as the rates for the South Dakota Housing and Development Authority sponsored projects, using the following requirements:

  • 1.5 off-street parking spaces per dwelling for studio, 1-bedroom, and 2-bedroom units
  • 2 off-street parking spaces per dwelling for 3-bedroom units
  • 3 off-street parking spaces per dwelling for 4-bedroom units

If there is garage parking included in the minimum required parking, each garage parking stall would count as one-half of an off-street parking space toward the total parking requirement.

The update would enable a more accurate parking requirement, City Planner Jayna Watson explained, adding that property owners may always elect to provide more parking than what is required by code.

The Spearfish City Council Monday approved the first reading of the ordinance revising the minimum off-street parking requirements and will consider a second reading, following a public hearing, at its April 5 meeting. If approved at that time, the ordinance would go into effect on April 30.

The proposed ordinance and staff report is available on pages 22-31 of the City Council packet.

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