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Town of Vienna reviews parking rules in zoning code rewrite

Changes to parking standards and codes could be on the horizon in the Town of Vienna.

The Department of Planning and Zoning is assessing a variety of parking issues through the Code Create Vienna process, a comprehensive effort to review and update the town’s zoning and subdivision codes.

No specific changes have been proposed yet, but the town’s limited availability of public parking, particularly in the commercial corridor around Maple Avenue, has been a topic of discussion for years.

“We are currently still working on residential zoning standards and defining the boundaries of the non-residential districts,” Vienna Deputy Planning Director Mike D’Orazio said in an email. “When we get to parking, our lead consultant ZoneCo, along with Nelson/Nygaard, will be assisting us in the review and potential update of parking standards.”

During a “Lunch & Learn” online discussion on March 5, D’Orazio detailed the parking standards that are under review, including the number of parking spaces required for different types of uses, design standards — such as landscape and lighting standards — and dimensional standards related to parking.

The review of parking space requirements will include examining on-site shared parking, such as multi-tenant or multi-use buildings.

The dimensional standards refer to the minimum dimensions for parking spaces, the width of aisles, and other spatial aspects of parking.

“Even though we updated it recently, it’s worth kind of looking at best standards and what other jurisdictions are doing for their parking,” D’Orazio said during the Lunch & Learn discussion.

Landscaping and lighting will also be considered during the parking portion of Vienna’s zoning code update. Currently, landscaping is required five feet between public street and parking areas.

The town also plans to establish bicycle parking standards for the first time in the new zoning ordinance, along with rules regulating electric vehicle charging stations.

“This is something that’s going to be increasing or trending right now as electric vehicles become more popular and adopted,” D’Orazio said. “There’s shopping centers and public spaces that are adding these EV stations. We don’t really have much in the code right now regulating those. So, that’s something that we’ll really have to look at updating.”

The estimated timeline for the code update as a whole is between 16 and 18 months.

The Department of Planning and Zoning does not have a date for when a complete draft will be ready for public hearings before the planning commission and town council. However, based on the estimated 16-18 month timeline, D’Orazio said the department anticipates that may happen in fall or winter this year.

“The Code Create Vienna process is an iterative process, and we seek community input throughout the project, not just during the public hearings,” D’Orazio said in an email.

Staff photo by Angela Woolsey

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