Castle Rock town council members are considering increasing parking requirements for multifamily developments due to concerns about a lack of spaces in the Meadows Town Center area, but the town is …
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Castle Rock town council members are considering increasing parking requirements for multifamily developments due to concerns about a lack of spaces in the Meadows Town Center area, but the town is limited in how it can respond.
During a discussion on multifamily parking requirements at the March 21 meeting, council members called out the Meadows Town Center for being underparked while planning further development.
In January, the council approved 44 apartments and 41 townhomes with 152 residential parking spaces, which is the required number of spaces, at Mercantile and Future Streets in the Meadows Town Center.
Mayor Pro Tem Kevin Bracken said adding in the planned mixed-use, multifamily development would be the neighborhood’s death knell.
“In my opinion, in light of the last project that added onto the area, I think this area is going to fail from parking,” Bracken said, noting parking spaces in town center are frequently unavailable in his experience.
Council members Laura Cavey, Ryan Hollingshead and Desiree LaFleur also said they have experienced or heard about parking struggles at town center.
The town’s planned development agreement with the Meadows, which was originally approved in 2003, requires one off-street space per bedroom for multifamily development in the town center area. The agreement prevents the town from changing the parking requirements without the developer’s approval until 2028, according to Development Director Tara Vargish.
Under the town code, multifamily developments typically are required to have one space for studios, 1.5 spaces for one-bedrooms and two spaces for two or three bedrooms, as well as an additional space for every four units for guest parking. The code has different, lower requirements for downtown and senior multifamily developments.
RC Hanish, a representative for the Meadows with Castle Rock Development Company, presented to the board on the development’s plans to address parking issues, which included better signage designating public parking, but didn’t include adding more spaces to the area.
Hanish said the town center was designed to have a more urban feel and the Meadows wanted to avoid “parking fields.”
“A lot of the guiding principles were trying to get rid of the big parking lots, given that we had meadows as a front door,” he said.
Bracken pushed back against the plan, saying signs wouldn’t solve the problem.
“If the Castle Rock Development Company doesn’t solve for (the lack of parking), this area will fail,” he said. “I’m telling you now because I’m trying to protect your property.”
In response, Hanish said the developers have examined parking needs as new uses were brought in and will continue to do so, but didn’t want to act without evidence.
“Something we’re willing to do … is look at a parking study because maybe there’s something we’re not seeing,” he said. “Right now, we don’t know what the issue is. We have a perception -- your experience -- but I don’t know how to quantify that into a solution.”
While the situation in the Meadows was in the spotlight of the conversation, council members Tim Dietz, LaFleur and Hollingshead mentioned wanting to include downtown in future discussions on increasing multifamily parking.
Council members agreed the town's lack of transit contributed to the problem . Dietz suggested it could justify increasing the requirements across the board.
“We’re a town without public transportation and people do like to drive everywhere, so parking is paramount,” Dietz said. “I’d like to see us have a cut and dry two spots.”
The council directed staff to engage with the multifamily development community on parking needs and trends locally for a future follow-up conversation.
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