16-0727 v3.0/Defining Project Area and LBC Scope Around Existing Parking Lot
Our project is an Interpretive Center serving a 6,150 acre state park. Our project is one of 5 projects underway as part of a extensive park restoration, and our project area overlaps with both a large, existing parking lot and soon to be constructed pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure. We are not including either in our project area. Because of the overlap and adjacency, we would like to review our definition of the Interpretive Center project area with you and confirm that it's aligned with LBC intent.
The Interpretive Center site is adjacent to an existing 6 acre parking lot serving the Gulf State Park Beach Pavilion. Our site is a previously developed greyfield, defined as a Transect 1 location because it is a part of the 6,150 acrea state park, but paradoxically separated from the larger park by a busy beach highway, and not presently safely accessible to pedestrians. Several of the firms on this project team were involved with a new Master Plan for the park, and an extensive Trails and Transportation infrastructure expansion. The goals of those initiatives are very aligned with our goals for both Human Powered Living and Human Scaled and Humane Places.
Before the Interpretive Center construction begins, a pedestrian bridge will be built over the beach highway that terminates on our site. The bridge is being constructed as part of the park’s trail expansion and will be built by a different contractor than our project. It overlaps our project area, and our building will connect to it, but we are not considering the pedestrian bridge to be part of this project.
The new Interpretive Center will link the existing pedestrian bridge from the larger Gulf State Park to existing beach access board walks and the existing parking lot. These links will be accessible, gently sloping board walks to be used by both bicyclists and pedestrians. We are designing secure weather protected bike parking immediately adjacent to the Interpretive Center building, and additional open bike parking near the parking lot.
We will use a small portion of the existing parking lot, closest to our site, for construction staging. That portion of the parking lot is included in our project area. The paving will be demolished at the completion of construction and returned to a restored dune landscape. The new landscape will help to soften the edge of the existing parking lot.
The existing parking serving the Beach Pavilion lot does not conform in any way to the Human Scale Humane Places imperative in it's size and layout. While we have been able to convince the owner to reduce the size of the parking lot by over 12,000 SF and approximately 56 spaces, that still exceeds the Human Scale and Humane Places guidelines, and the owner will not allow us to reduce its size any further. See attached diagram illustrating the impact we have been able to effect on the parking lot size and layout through both the construction of the Interpretive Center and the Parking lot improvements.
However, we have been able to advocate for improvement to the lot within a separate bid package. Not currently included in our project area is a new entry plaza with shady seating, interpretive elements and bicycle parking. The entry plaza will link our building and the pedestrian overpass to the existing beach boardwalk, the existing beach pavilion, and existing parking and drop off area. It will also serve as a pick up and drop off area for a proposed Park Tram. The plaza is our attempt to provide a human scaled seating area, per the LBC3.0 requirements, that also suppports our mobility plan. Because it is on the edge of the IC project area and the parking lot improvements, we could shift the Entry Plaza into our project area and bid package if required. It's our understanding that the Entry Plaza would need to meet all the requirements of the LBC, whether or not it is included in project area, since it supports our Human Scaled Humane Places imperative strategy. Please confirm if this understanding is correct, and if it needs to shifted into our project area.
Also not included in our project area are vegetated islands to be built within the existing parking lot as part of a separate bid package. The new landscaped islands will mitigate the scale of the existing expanse of asphalt, provide shade, increase pervious area, and visually transition between the existing parking and the restored dunescape. After our project is complete, the owner plans to re-stripe the existing parking lot and add new control arms at the entry and exit. These improvements will be handled in a separate bid package. They are outside of our scope of work. While the islands will involve some removal of paving, we propose following the guidance in the Equity Petal handbook that allows for the improvement of existing parking in order to comply with the Human Scale and Humane Places imperatives without triggering inclusion of the existing parking lot in our LBC project area.
Please confirm that our definition of project area and interpretation of the Human Scale, Humane Places guidance around existing parking lots is aligned with the intent of LBC and acceptable.
If the pedestrian bridge is part of a separate bid package and is not used to help meet the requirements of any targeted Imperatives, then it does not need to be included in the Project Area, even though it physically overlaps. Land and structures used for compliance with Imperatives, except in cases of Scale Jumping, must be included in the Project Area.
The existing parking lot may be excluded from the Project Area, except for those areas that are used for construction staging, per the proposed strategy since the vegetated islands and circumstances as explained appear to be in compliance with the Existing Parking Clarification (v3.0 EqPH, p 7).
Since the entry plaza is necessary meet the requirements of Imperatives 04 and 15, it must be included in the Project Area and meet the requirements of all other targeted Imperatives.
Post ID 5775