15-0129 v2.1/Smith Bechtel Environmental Classroom/Total Area of Surface Parking Lot Allowed

QUESTION

The Design Guidelines referenced in association with this Imperative cite a maximum parking area of 65 sm for Transect L1 — which we believe applies to our project (It is a small field station building in a 200 acre forested and pastured parcel). The parcel was acquired by the Smith College 60 years ago to site its observatory away from the bright lights of Northampton, and a small amount of parking was then established either side of the gravel County road that lead into and through the site. We intend to retain the 8 parking spaces for the field station, but that means that must report approx. 167 sm of parking, considerably more than the 65 sm stipulated in the guidelines. But this old parking area, contained by the same field stone walls that flank the road, is part of the existing landscape. Is there provision for exceeding the 65 sm in circumstances such as these?

ANSWER

If the existing parking is not part of the disturbed area on the project site, then it can be claimed as outside of the project boundary and does not need to meet the minimum parking areas outlined in this Imperative.

If the parking area is disturbed as part of the project then it must meet the limits defined by this imperative. However, where the authority having jurisdiction requires no loss in existing parking area, the project team may retain the existing parking area and is encouraged to utilize this area for other functions such as infiltration of stormwater. In this case, a letter is required from the AHJ stating that existing parking areas may not be reduced.  



Post ID 1994

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