Charles County, MD
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
A. 
All development in all zones shall provide the minimum number of parking spaces indicated in the Table of Off-Street Parking Requirements (see Figure XX-1).[1]
[Amended 5-7-2008 by Bill No. 2008-01]
(1) 
No use shall provide more than the required number of spaces, unless all spaces in excess of the required number are constructed using an industry standard pervious pavement.
[1]
Editor's Note: Figure XX-1, Table of Off-Street Parking Requirements, is included as an attachment to this chapter.
B. 
All off-street parking spaces required to serve buildings or a use erected or established shall be located on the same lot as the building or use served, except that where an increase in the number of spaces is required by a change or enlargement of a nonresidential use or where spaces are provided collectively or used jointly by two or more buildings or establishments, the required spaces may be located and maintained as set forth in §§ 297-339, 297-340 and 297-341.
[Amended 5-7-2008 by Bill No. 2008-01]
C. 
The County recognizes that the Table of Off-Street Parking Requirements set forth in Subsection D cannot and does not cover every possible situation that may arise. Therefore, in cases not specifically covered, the Zoning Officer is authorized to determine the parking requirements using this table as a guide.
D. 
Table of Off-Street Parking Requirements. (See Figure XX-1 attached to this chapter.)[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: Figure XX-1, Table of Off-Street Parking Requirements, is included as an attachment to this chapter.
A. 
The minimum widths and lengths for parking spaces shall be as prescribed in the following table:
Standard Space
Small Car Space
Handicapped Space
Parking Angle
(degrees)
Stall Width
(feet)
Stall Length
(feet)
Stall Width
(feet)
Stall Length
(feet)
Stall Width
(feet)
Stall Length
(feet)
0 (parallel)
7 1/2
21
6
19 1/2
11
22
45 to 59
12 1/2
27
N/A
N/A
17
27
60 to 75
10 1/2
23 1/2
N/A
N/A
14
23 1/2
90 (perpendi-cular)
9
18
7 1/2
16 1/2
12
18
NOTE: N/A = Not applicable
B. 
If a column or other obstruction is adjacent to a parking space and would interfere with car door openings, then the minimum stall width of that space shall be increased by one foot. The inner face of the column or other obstruction shall form the actual boundary of the space when measuring the width or length of the spaces.
C. 
Each standard-size angled parking space shall be a parallelogram having minimum dimensions in accordance with the table contained in Subsection A above. An angled parking space is one in which the acute angle formed by the intersection of the long side of the space and the curb is between 45° and 75°. The width of an angled parking space is measured parallel to the curb or travel lane along the short side of the parallelogram, and the length of the space is measured along the side of the parallelogram from the curb to the travel lane.
D. 
Each small-car automobile parking space shall have minimum dimensions in accordance with the table contained in Subsection A above. Small-car spaces may be provided for up to 10% of all required spaces for nonresidential uses. Small-car space shall be limited to parallel or perpendicular parking angles.
[Amended 5-7-2008 by Bill No. 2008-01]
A. 
Parking area aisle widths shall conform to the following table, which varies the width requirement according to the angle of parking.
Parking Angle
Type of Traffic
Aisle Width
(feet)
30°
Aisle Width
(feet)
45°
Aisle Width
(feet)
60°
Aisle Width
(feet)
90°
Aisle Width
(feet)
One-way
12
11
13
18
24
Two-way
20
20
21
23
24
B. 
Excluding curb offset, driveways shall be not less than 10 feet nor exceed 12 feet in width for one-way traffic and not less than 18 feet nor exceed 24 feet in width for two-way traffic, except that ten-foot-wide driveways are permissible for two-way traffic when:
[Amended 5-7-2008 by Bill No. 2008-01]
(1) 
The driveway is not longer than 50 feet;
(2) 
It provides access to not more than six spaces; and
(3) 
Sufficient turning space is provided so that vehicles need not back into a public street.
C. 
Driveways through Resource Protection Zone (RPZ), wetland or other conservation areas should be designed as narrow and as close to grade as feasible, with minimal or no shoulder or curbing, and with canopy closure to allow for continuous wildlife migratory corridor. Protective bollards and signage shall be provided to alert drivers to the wildlife crossing area. Stormwater runoff shall be treated prior to entering the conservation area.
[Added 5-7-2008 by Bill No. 2008-01]
A. 
No structure shall be erected, substantially altered or its use changed unless permanent off-street parking and loading spaces have been provided and maintained in accordance with the provisions of this section.
B. 
Parking and loading requirements based on floor area shall be determined by the total gross floor areas of the use, excluding incidental storage and mechanical areas. "Incidental storage" is storage that is subordinate and nonessential to the main use.
[Amended 5-7-2008 by Bill No. 2008-01]
C. 
Parking and loading requirements per seat shall be determined by the number of individual seats, except as otherwise required. For purposes of bench-type seating, 20 inches shall be the equivalent of one seat.
D. 
Parking requirements may be provided in attached or detached garages, in off-street parking lots or on parking pads on the lots. No more than 75% of the total number of garage spaces provided for single-family attached or multifamily dwellings units may be counted towards the minimum requirements of Figure XX-1.[1] On residential lots, each required parking space shall have direct and unobstructed access to a road.
[Amended 7-8-1997 by Ord. No. 97-83; 5-7-2008 by Bill No. 2008-01]
[1]
Editor's Note: Figure XX-1, Table of Off-Street Parking Requirements, is included as an attachment to this chapter.
E. 
Unless no other practicable alternative is available, parking areas shall be designed so that, without resorting to extraordinary movements, vehicles may exit such areas without backing onto a public street. This requirement does not apply to parking areas consisting of driveways along a local street that serve one or two dwelling units.
F. 
Access must be provided and shall be designed so that sanitation, emergency and other public service vehicles can serve such developments without the necessity of backing unreasonable distances or making other dangerous or hazardous turning movements.
G. 
Every parking area shall be designed so that vehicles cannot extend beyond the perimeter of such area onto adjacent properties or public rights-of-way. Such areas shall also be designed so that vehicles do not extend over sidewalks or tend to bump against or damage any wall, vegetation or other obstruction.
H. 
Circulation areas shall be designed so that vehicles can proceed safely without posing a danger to pedestrians or other vehicles and without interfering with parking areas.
I. 
Any lighting used to illuminate off-street parking areas shall be arranged so as to reflect away from any adjoining residential zone or uses and any public or private right-of-way.
J. 
A "sight triangle" shall be observed at all street intersections or intersections of driveways with streets as required in § 297-28 of Article II.
K. 
All parking areas shall be drained so as to dispose of all surface water within the parking area without carrying said water accumulation over a public sidewalk of a public travelway.
L. 
Permanent stormwater retention shall be provided for all off-street parking areas as required in the County's Stormwater Management Ordinance.[2] Bioretention areas are encouraged and shall be considered to meet landscaping requirements. If a stormwater management pond is proposed, it shall be integrated into the overall development and serve as a visual amenity to the site.
[Amended 5-7-2008 by Bill No. 2008-01]
[2]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 274, Stormwater Management.
M. 
Stormwater management facilities, such as ponds and bioretention areas, are permitted within building setbacks, provided that they are designed as attractive, landscaped amenities. Designs that rely on chain link fencing to ensure safety, rather than sloop contouring and vegetation, are not permitted within setbacks.
[Added 5-7-2008 by Bill No. 2008-01]
N. 
The percentage of coverage of parking areas and driveways shall not exceed 40% of the total required front yard or side street side yard.
[Amended 5-7-2008 by Bill No. 2008-01]
O. 
The total coverage of parking areas and driveways, in all zones except for residential use in the RC, RC(D), and AC, shall use the following mitigation options individually or in combination:
[Added 5-7-2008 by Bill No. 2008-01]
(1) 
Industry standard pervious pavement installed to manufacturer's specifications;
(2) 
Existing, on-site forest cover protected, in addition to Forest Conservation Ordinance[3] requirements, on an equal square-foot-basis ratio, minimum 10,000 square feet and 35 feet in width, using a standard forest conservation easement document;
[3]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 298, Forest Conservation.
(3) 
On-site pocket park(s), integrated into commercial, industrial and institutional parking areas, on an equal square-foot-basis ratio (minimum 2,500 square feet each).
(4) 
All stormwater runoff is filtered through bioretention facilities;
(5) 
Structural green roof provided on an equal square-foot basis subject to a standard stormwater management triennial maintenance agreement; and/or
(6) 
Structured parking.
P. 
If structured parking is entirely underground, the applicant shall be relieved from providing the required off-street parking landscaping and can locate the underground structure within any part of the setback and yard areas.
[Added 5-7-2008 by Bill No. 2008-01[4]]
[4]
Editor's Note: This bill also redesignated former Subsections N, P and Q as Subsections Q, R and S, respectively. In addition, Bill No. 2008-01 repealed former Subsection O, which set forth provisions for calculating certain minimum gross areas.
Q. 
Off-street parking facilities shall, whenever possible, be located within the required rear and side yards of any commercial, office/residential or industrial zone.
R. 
Commercial, institutional, marine, recreation, services and industrial uses shall provide a minimum of three parking spaces.
S. 
The Board of Appeals may authorize a variance to reduce the number of parking spaces required, if the requirements of § 297-412 are satisfied. In no case shall the Board grant a variance of more than 10% of the number of required parking spaces.
T. 
Residential parking areas shall not serve as general circulation for more than 150 dwelling units per access to a public road.
[Added 5-7-2008 by Bill No. 2008-01]
U. 
Pedestrian circulation systems within parking areas shall be clearly delineated by the use of pavement markings or changes in surface materials and be constructed of pervious materials.
[Added 5-7-2008 by Bill No. 2008-01]
A. 
Parking areas that include lanes for drive-in windows or contain parking areas that are required to have more than 10 parking spaces and that are used regularly at least five days per week shall be graded and surfaced with asphalt, porous asphalt, concrete, porous concrete, brick or concrete pavers, or other suitable material that will provide equivalent protection against potholes, erosion and dust.
[Amended 5-7-2008 by Bill No. 2008-01]
B. 
Parking areas that are not provided with the type of surface specified in Subsection A shall be graded and surfaced with crushed stone, gravel, structural grass pavers, concrete honeycomb pavers, or other suitable material to provide a surface that is stable and will help to reduce dust and erosion. The perimeter of such parking areas shall be defined by bricks, stones, railroad ties or other similar devices. In addition, whenever such a parking area abuts a paved street, the driveway leading from such street to such area (or, if there is no driveway, the portion of the parking areas that opens onto such streets) shall be paved as provided in Subsection A for a distance of 15 feet back from the edge of the paved street. This subsection shall not apply to single-family or two-family residences that are required to have only one or two parking spaces.
[Amended 5-7-2008 by Bill No. 2008-01]
C. 
Parking spaces in areas surfaced in accordance with Subsection A shall be appropriately demarcated with painted lines or other markings. Parking spaces in areas surfaced in accordance with Subsection B shall be demarcated whenever practicable.
D. 
Parking areas shall be properly maintained in all respects. Parking area surfaces shall be kept in good condition and functioning properly in the case of porous paving (free from potholes, cleaned regularly, etc.), and parking space lines or markings shall be kept clearly visible and distinct.
[Amended 5-7-2008 by Bill No. 2008-01]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 297-339, Parking lot design requirements, was repealed 5-7-2008 by Bill No. 2008-01. Said Bill No. 2008-01 also renumbered former §§ 297-340 through 297-345 as §§ 297-339 through 297-344, respectively.
[Amended 7-25-2005 by Bill No. 2005-01]
A. 
Where a parking area provides spaces collectively for several uses located on the same or different parcels, the parking spaces required shall equal the sum of the requirements for the various uses computed separately; and the required space for one use may not be credited to another use except as provided in Subsection B.
B. 
The required space for one use may be credited to another use.
(1) 
Two methods may be used to determine shared parking:
(a) 
Parking Occupancy Rate Table: When any land and/or buildings are contiguous to one another and are used for two or more purposes, the number of parking spaces shall be computed by multiplying the minimum required parking spaces by the appropriate percentage as shown on the following parking chart[1] for each time period shown. Then the resulting total number of spaces required for each use during each time period is totaled. The time period that generates the highest number of parking spaces becomes the parking requirement for the shared parking.
[Amended 5-7-2008 by Bill No. 2008-01]
[1]
Editor's Note: The Parking Occupancy Rate Table is included as an attachment to this chapter.
(b) 
Local parking study. A parking demand analysis, prepared by a qualified parking or traffic consultant, may be used to show the feasibility of shared parking. The analysis shall determine parking occupancy rates of morning, afternoon and evening peaks on the seven different days of the week. In the case of new construction or addition of new uses, the surveys shall observe another circumstance with similar mixed uses. A combination of similar circumstances may be necessary to cover all the proposed land uses. The approximate square footages of the various land uses of the specimen projects shall be compared to the proposed project to allow the ratios of uses to be rated accordingly. In the case of an enlargement or substitution of existing uses, the survey shall document the occupancy rates of the existing parking facility.
(2) 
The shared parking facility must be owned by the same owner or must be the subject of a shared parking agreement made between different owners of the properties involved.
(3) 
Handicapped parking may not be shared or included in any shared parking calculations.
A. 
If the number of off-street parking spaces required by this chapter cannot reasonably be provided on the same lot where the principal use associated with these parking spaces is located, then spaces may be provided on adjacent or nearby lots in accordance with the provisions of this section. These off-site spaces are referred to in this section as "satellite parking spaces."
B. 
All such satellite parking spaces (except spaces intended for employee use) must be located within 400 feet of a public entrance of a principal building housing the use associated with such parking or within 400 feet of the lot on which the use associated with such parking is located if the use is not housed within any principal building. Satellite parking spaces intended for employee use may be located within any reasonable distance. No more than 25% of the total required spaces are to be located in satellite parking spaces.
C. 
The applicant wishing to take advantage of the provisions of this section must present satisfactory written evidence of the permission of the owner or other person in charge of the satellite parking spaces to use such spaces. The applicant must also sign an acknowledgement that the continuing validity of the permit depends upon continuing ability to provide the requisite number of parking spaces.
D. 
All satellite parking spaces shall be located in the same zone as the structures or uses served.
E. 
Satellite parking spaces shall be used solely for the parking of passenger automobiles. No commercial repair work or service of any kind shall be conducted, and no charge shall be made for parking. No sign of any kind, other than designating ownership, entrances, exits and conditions of use, shall be maintained on such satellite parking areas.
F. 
Each entrance and exit to and from such parking area shall be at least 20 feet distant from any adjacent lot line located in any residential zone.
G. 
The satellite parking areas shall be subject to all requirements of this chapter concerning surfacing, lighting, drainage, landscaping, screening and setbacks.
A. 
Any increase in the intensity of use of any structure shall mean the addition of dwelling units, employees, gross floor area, seating capacity or any other unit of measurement used as a basis for determining required parking facilities. When the intensity of use of any structure or site is increased by less than 20%, parking facilities shall be provided for the increase, but not for any existing deficiency in such facilities. When the intensity is increased by more than 20%, including consecutive increases from the date of this chapter, parking facilities shall be provided for the entire structure or premises.
[Amended 5-7-2008 by Bill No. 2008-01]
B. 
When the use of any structure or premises is changed to a different use, parking facilities shall be provided for the different use.
C. 
Notwithstanding any other provisions of this chapter, whenever there exists a lot with one or more structures on it constructed before the effective date of this chapter, a change in use that does not involve any enlargement of a structure is proposed for such lot and the parking requirements of § 297-335 that would be applicable as a result of the proposed change cannot be satisfied on such lot because there is not sufficient area available on the lot that can practicably be used for parking, then the applicant need only comply with the requirements of § 297-335 to the extent that the parking space is practicably available on the lot where the development is located and satellite parking space is reasonably available as provided in § 297-341. However, if satellite parking subsequently becomes reasonably available, then it shall be a continuing condition of the permit authorizing development on such lot that the applicant obtain satellite parking when it does become available.
[Amended 5-7-2008 by Bill No. 2008-01]
A. 
Subject to Subsection E, whenever the normal operation of any development requires that goods, merchandise or equipment be routinely delivered to or shipped from that development, an off-street loading and unloading area must be provided in accordance with this section to accommodate the delivery or shipment operations in a safe and convenient manner.
B. 
The following table indicates the number and size of spaces which shall be provided:
Gross Leasable Area of Building
(square feet)
Number of Spaces1
1,000 to 19,999
1
20,000 to 79,999
2
80,000 to 127,999
3
128,000 to 191,999
4
192,000 to 255,999
5
256,000 to 319,999
6
320,000 to 391,999
7
Plus one space for each additional 72,000 square feet or fraction thereof.
NOTES:
1
Minimum dimensions of 12 feet by 55 feet and overhead clearance of 14 feet from street grade required.
C. 
Loading and unloading areas shall be so located and designed so that the vehicles intended to use them can maneuver safely and conveniently to and from a public right-of-way and complete the loading and unloading operations without obstructing or interfering with any public right-of-way or any parking space or parking lot aisle.
D. 
No area allocated to loading and unloading facilities may be used to satisfy the area requirements for off-street parking, nor shall any portion of any off-street parking area be used to satisfy the area requirements for loading and unloading facilities.
E. 
No such space shall be located closer than 50 feet to any other lot in any residential zone unless wholly within a completely enclosed building or unless enclosed on all sides by a wall or uniformly painted board fence not less than six feet in height.
A. 
General. Parking spaces for the physically handicapped shall be designed and located in accordance with ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act), standards for accessible design and/or the Maryland Accessibility Code, as applicable. These parking spaces shall be located so that the physically handicapped are not forced to wheel or walk across main traffic lanes or behind parked cars to reach the ramps and other facilities. The spaces shall be situated in those areas of the parking lots located nearest to each primary building entrances.
[Amended 5-7-2008 by Bill No. 2008-01]
B. 
Required number of spaces. The number of parking spaces reserved for the physically handicapped shall be in accordance with ADA standards for accessible design and/or the Maryland Accessibility Code, as applicable.
[Amended 5-7-2008 by Bill No. 2008-01]
C. 
Identification. Parking spaces for the physically handicapped shall be identified by signs in accordance with the Maryland Accessibility Code. The international handicapped symbol shall be marked on the pavement for those spaces provided for the handicapped.
[Amended 5-7-2008 by Bill No. 2008-01]
D. 
Curb ramps.
[Amended 5-7-2008 by Bill No. 2008-01]
(1) 
Where a curb exists between a parking lot and a sidewalk, a horizontally scored curb ramp shall be provided for wheelchair access in accordance with ADA standards for accessible design and/or the Maryland Accessibility Code, as applicable.
(2) 
Curb ramps shall be provided within 30 feet of each accessible entrance to the structure, at all pedestrian walk intersections and elsewhere to provide direct circulation within each development where a curb ramp is provided at an intersection quadrant. Curb ramps shall be provided at the opposite quadrants along the involved crosswalks.
(3) 
The curb ramps shall not be more than 150 feet apart.
(4) 
The curb ramps shall be scored and coarse textured as per Maryland State Highway Administration (MSHA) standards.
E. 
Sidewalks.
(1) 
Sidewalks shall be scored or textured to indicate the location of doors to blind persons.
(2) 
Exterior sidewalks shall not be obstructed.
(3) 
Exterior sidewalks shall have a side slope not greater than one inch in four feet. They shall be at least four feet wide.
[Amended 5-7-2008 by Bill No. 2008-01; 12-9-2008 by Bill No. 2008-24]
(4) 
Wherever sidewalks cross driveways, parking lots, landscaped areas or other sidewalks, they shall blend to a common level.
[Amended 5-7-2008 by Bill No. 2008-01]
F. 
Storm drains. Storm drain grates and similar devices shall not be located within the required access for the physically handicapped.
G. 
Grade. The grade of parking spaces for the physically handicapped shall be in accordance with ADA standards for accessible design and/or Maryland Accessibility Code, as applicable. The grade for the parking facility shall provide positive drainage.
[Amended 12-9-2008 by Bill No. 2008-24]