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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 Fairhaven urban village except as follows:

1. Residential development in Residential Transition Areas shall comply with Chapter 20.28 BMC, Infill Housing, or Chapter 20.30 BMC, Residential Single Development, for corresponding development.

2. The planning and community development director shall have the authority to waive parking requirements when consistent with an area-wide parking plan and/or district pursuant to BMC 20.12.010(A). The following parking districts shown in Figure 20.37.350 shall remain in effect unless modified by city council legislative action.

a. Area-wide parking plan and parking district under council Resolution No. 43-94.

b. Tenth Street parking district approved under council Resolution No. 2003-38.

Figure 20.37.350 Fairhaven Parking Districts Map

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

C. Uses shall provide parking as follows. Fractions are rounded up to the next whole number.

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

2. Commercial Uses. Minimum one space per 500 square feet of gross floor area, including office, retail, service, eating and drinking establishments, entertainment, and similar uses.

3. Industrial Uses.

a. Manufacturing. One for every 5,000 square feet of gross floor area or one per employee (working at the same time) whichever is greater.

b. Warehousing and Wholesale. One for every 20,000 square feet of gross floor area or one per employee (working at the same time) whichever is greater.

c. Mini-Storage. One space for every 2,000 square feet of storage area plus three spaces for the manager’s office.

4. If a use is not readily classified within the zoning classifications, then the planning and community development director shall determine the standards which shall be applied.

5. Buildings existing as of August 28, 2012, are exempt from the requirement to provide additional parking due to a use change.

6. The planning and community development 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 no greater than 10 percent of the area of the existing building and (b) existing conforming parking on site shall not be displaced. Exception: 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 planning and community development director may allow displacement of some or all of the on-site parking.

7. The creation of new improved on-street parking that abuts a project site may count toward on-site parking requirements when the new street parking will increase the supply of improved on-street public parking. The parking and street design shall be consistent with the standards of BMC 20.37.340, and subject to public works department approval.

D. Unbundled Parking. Unbundled parking means that the parking required of a project is not assigned to building space; it is sold or leased separately.

1. Purpose. To make more efficient use of parking that is required of a project but not otherwise used or needed by tenants of the project. Taking into account that the parking required of a project represents the parking demand added to the general vicinity, this parking can then be made available to any on- or off-site use, on a fee or lease basis, to provide more opportunities to satisfy the local parking demand.

2. The provision of unbundled parking is allowed in the following zones: commercial core, industrial, and public.

E. Shared Parking. Shared parking means that parking spaces are shared by more than one user or business that has different parking demand patterns. In these situations, shared parking strategies will result in fewer total parking spaces needed when compared to the total number of spaces needed for each land use or business separately.

1. Purpose. 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 section may be reduced by an amount determined by the planning and community development 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.

a. Shared parking shall be unbundled as necessary to ensure the adequacy of parking for the anticipated uses. This may require that parking is not assigned or dedicated. All spaces that are to be assigned or dedicated shall be shown/evaluated in a shared parking demand study. Unbundled parking may be leased to off-site uses that are not a party through a shared parking agreement.

F. Parking Reduction Allowed. The planning and community development 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).

G. Parking Design.

1. Industrial Zoned Areas. No portion of any open parking facility shall be located within ten feet of any front or side-flanking property line, or within any required yard except for a lane for ingress and egress.

2. Public Zoned Areas.

a. No portion of any open parking facility shall be located within five feet of any property line abutting or across the street from any residential designation except for a lane for ingress and egress.

b. Improved on-street parking may count toward on-site parking for public uses in areas zoned public.

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 covered bicycle parking spaces is shown in subsection (H)(3)(b)(ii)(C) of this section.

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 is 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.

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.

Table 20.37.350 – 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 without charge or on a fee basis

2, or 1 per 20 automobile spaces.

6, or 1 for each 20 automobile spaces.

Note: Wherever this table indicates two numerical standards, such as “2, or 1 per 5,000 sq. ft. of gross floor area,” the larger number applies.

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 be either 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.

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. 2017-03-009 § 36; Ord. 2012-08-041 § 13 (Exh. G)].