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A. Applicability. The regulations of this section shall apply to the development of any principal and/or accessory use within any area in the fountain district urban village except that development in residential transition areas shall comply with Chapter 20.28 BMC, Infill Housing, or Chapter 20.30 BMC, Residential Single Development.

B. All parking standards in Chapter 20.12 BMC concerning applicability, general provisions, design provisions and improvement standards shall apply except as provided herein.

C. Uses shall provide parking as follows:

1. Residential. Minimum of one parking space per studio, one-bedroom or two-bedroom dwelling unit. An additional 0.5 parking space per unit shall be provided for each bedroom over two per unit.

2. Commercial.

a. Core. Minimum one space per 500 square feet of gross floor area.

b. Transition. Minimum one space per 350 square feet of gross floor area.

3. If a use is not readily classified within the residential and commercial classifications, then the director shall determine which standards shall be applied.

4. The director may exempt existing buildings listed on the local, state or national register of historic places from required parking for a one-time floor area expansion; provided, that (a) the floor area expansion is limited to an area equal to 10 percent of the area of the existing building and (b) existing conforming parking on site shall not be displaced except as otherwise may be allowed. If the listed historic building provides 10 percent or less of the on-site parking that would be required for an equivalent new building, the director may allow displacement of some or all of the on-site parking.

D. Shared Parking.

1. Intent. To efficiently utilize parking resources where the potential for shared parking provisions with adjacent land uses has been analyzed and found to be appropriate.

2. The amount of off-street parking required by this article may be reduced by an amount determined by the director when shared parking facilities for two or more uses are proposed; provided, that the requirements stated in BMC 20.12.010(A)(6) are met.

E. Land Dedicated for Parking.

1. Intent. Facilitate the retrofit of existing perpendicular parking straddling public and private property on nonarterial streets to improve pedestrian safety. By placing the public sidewalk at the head of the parking area, public parking inventory can be increased in the general vicinity. Costs of improvements shall be carried by the abutting property owner. (See Figure 20.37.250.)

2. Standard. Land that is dedicated by easement or real property for purposes of providing public parking may be allowed with the approval of the planning and public works directors as follows:

a. Limited to nonarterial rights-of-way.

b. Each public parking space created may count as two on-site parking stalls.

c. The floor area ratio for the site shall be calculated on a prededication basis.

d. The design and construction is subject to approval by the planning and public works directors, including abutting sidewalks and landscaping.

Figure 20.37.250

F. Parking for Change of Use or Additions. The director shall have the authority to waive parking requirements for subsections (C)(2)(a) and (b) of this section when there is no existing space available on site to provide additional parking, no parking can reasonably be provided within 500 feet of the generator, and the surrounding streets will not be adversely affected due to the existence of ample on-street parking.

G. Parking Reduction Allowed. The director may administratively reduce parking up to an additional 30 percent for uses that are inherently less auto dependent, and for mitigation provided in lieu of the parking reduction. Mitigation may be accomplished through adoption of a program, fee-in-lieu, and installation of infrastructure that promotes use of alternative transportation and less auto dependence. Such uses, programs or infrastructure improvements may include, but are not limited to: senior and affordable housing, implementation of a shared car service (i.e., Zipcar™), enhanced bike storage facilities, purchase of WTA transit passes through the urban village trip reduction credits (BMC 19.06.040(E) – Table 19.06.040(B)), installation of covered transit shelters where approved by the Whatcom Transportation Authority and public works department, and off-site pedestrian infrastructure improvements. The applicant must demonstrate, to the satisfaction of the director, how the proposed mitigation will be adequate and proportionate to the requested parking reduction. Parking reductions authorized by this subsection cannot be combined with those allowed in BMC 20.12.010(A)(5).

H. Bike Parking.

1. Number of Spaces Required. Bicycle parking is required for certain use categories to encourage the use of bicycles by providing safe and convenient places to park bicycles. These regulations ensure adequate short- and long-term bicycle parking based on the demand generated by the different use categories and on the level of security necessary to encourage the use of bicycles for short and long stays.

a. The required minimum number of bicycle parking spaces for each use category is shown in Table 20.37.250. No bicycle parking is required for uses not listed.

b. The required minimum number of bicycle parking spaces is based on the primary uses on a site. When there are two or more separate primary uses that operate at the same time on a site, the required bicycle parking for the site is the sum of the required parking for the individual primary uses.

2. Exemptions.

a. No long-term bicycle parking is required on a site where there are less than 2,500 square feet of gross building area.

b. No bicycle parking is required for unattended surface parking lots.

3. Bicycle Parking Standards.

a. Short-Term Bicycle Parking.

i. Purpose. Short-term bicycle parking encourages shoppers, customers, messengers, and other visitors to use bicycles by providing a convenient and readily accessible place to park bicycles. Short-term bicycle parking should serve the main entrance of a building and should be visible to pedestrians and bicyclists.

ii. Standards. Required short-term bicycle parking shall be located:

(A) Outside a building;

(B) On the site;

(C) At the same grade as the sidewalk or at a location that can be reached by an accessible route; and

(D) Within 50 feet of the main entrance to the building as measured along the most direct pedestrian access route. For sites that have more than one primary building, the bicycle parking shall be within 50 feet of a main entrance as measured along the most direct pedestrian access route and shall be distributed to serve all primary buildings.

(E) Short-term bike parking may be located within the public right-of-way, provided the location and design are subject to public works department approval.

b. Long-Term Bicycle Parking.

i. Purpose. Long-term bicycle parking provides employees, residents, commuters and others who generally stay at a site for several hours a secure and weather-protected place to park bicycles. Although long-term parking does not have to be provided on site, the intent of these standards is to allow bicycle parking to be within a reasonable distance in order to encourage bicycle use.

ii. Standards. Required long-term bicycle parking shall be:

(A) Provided in racks or lockers that meet the standards of subsection (H)(3)(c) of this section;

(B) Located on the site or in an area where the closest point is within 300 feet of the site;

(C) Covered. At least 50 percent of required long-term bicycle parking shall be covered and meet the standards of subsection (H)(3)(c)(v) of this section (Covered Bicycle Parking); and

(D) Secured. To provide security, long-term bicycle parking shall be in at least one of the following locations:

(1) In a locked room;

(2) In an area that is enclosed by a fence with a locked gate. The fence shall either be eight feet high or be floor-to-ceiling;

(3) Within view of an attendant or security guard;

(4) In an area that is monitored by a security camera; or

(5) In an area that is visible from employee work areas.

Table 20.37.250 – Minimum Required Bicycle Parking

Specific Use

Long-Term Spaces

Short-Term Spaces


Multifamily housing

2, or 0.5 per bedroom and studio unit.

2, or 1 per 20 dwelling units.


Commercial: Retail sales and service, including eating and drinking establishments.

2, or 1 per 12,000 sq. ft. of gross floor area.

2, or 1 per 5,000 sq. ft. of gross floor area.


Commercial: Office

2, or 1 per 10,000 sq. ft. of gross floor area.

2, or 1 per 20,000 sq. ft. of gross floor area.


Commercial: Off-street parking lots and garages available to the general public.

2, or 1 per 20 automobile spaces.

6, or 1 for each 20 automobile spaces.

Note: Wherever this table indicates two numerical standards, the larger number applies.

c. Standards for All Bicycle Parking.

i. Purpose. These standards ensure that required bicycle parking is designed so that bicycles may be securely locked without undue inconvenience and will be reasonably safeguarded from intentional or accidental damage.

ii. Bicycle Lockers. Where required bicycle parking is provided in lockers, the lockers shall be securely anchored.

iii. Bicycle Racks. Required bicycle parking may be provided in floor, wall, or ceiling racks. Where required bicycle parking is provided in racks, the racks shall meet the following standards:

(A) The bicycle frame and one wheel can be locked to the rack with a high security, U-shaped shackle lock if both wheels are left on the bicycle;

(B) A bicycle six feet long can be securely held with its frame supported so that the bicycle cannot be pushed or fall in a manner that will damage the wheels or components; and

(C) The rack shall be securely anchored.

iv. Parking and Maneuvering Areas.

(A) Each required bicycle parking space shall be accessible without moving another bicycle;

(B) There shall be an aisle at least five feet wide behind all required bicycle parking to allow room for bicycle maneuvering. Where the bicycle parking is adjacent to a sidewalk, the maneuvering area may extend into the right-of-way; and

(C) The area devoted to bicycle parking shall be hard surfaced.

v. Covered Bicycle Parking. Covered bicycle parking, as required by this section, can be provided inside buildings, under roof overhangs or awnings, in bicycle lockers, or within or under other structures. Where required covered bicycle parking is not within a building or locker, the cover shall be:

(A) Permanent;

(B) Designed to protect the bicycle from rainfall; and

(C) At least seven feet above the floor or ground.

vi. Signs. If required bicycle parking is not visible from the street or main building entrance, a sign shall be posted at the main building entrance indicating the location of the parking. [Ord. 2020-02-004 § 4; Ord. 2017-03-009 § 35; Ord. 2010-10-057].