Dorchester County, MD
 
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
A. 
Accessory off-street parking and loading facilities shall be provided in accordance with the following regulations for any new structure built or any new use established.
B. 
An existing structure or use shall not be enlarged unless off-street parking and loading spaces are provided in accordance with the requirements in this article for the area or capacity of such enlargement.
C. 
A principal use of a structure or site shall not be changed to a use requiring a greater number of parking or loading spaces unless parking or loading spaces are provided for the new use in accordance with the requirements in this article.
Off-street parking and loading facilities required by these regulations shall be provided on the same lot with such structure or land use, unless parking is provided on a different lot in accordance with the following requirements:
A. 
Single common facility. Off-street parking and loading spaces required for structures or land uses on two or more adjoining lots may be provided in a single common facility on one or more of said lots, provided that said lots are in the same zoning district and are owned in common or are subject to recorded covenants or easements for parking. For purposes of this section, lots which are divided by a public road are not deemed to be adjoining.
B. 
Off-site locations.
(1) 
Off-site locations for required parking may be permitted if:
(a) 
For residential uses, the major point of pedestrian access to the parking facility is within 200 feet of the entrance to the residential building;
(b) 
For nonresidential uses, the major point of pedestrian access to the parking facility is within 400 feet of the entrance to the building;
(c) 
The parking facility is within a zoning district in which the use being served by the parking facility is permitted; and
(d) 
The parking facility is subject to recorded covenants or easements for parking, or other proof is provided that the continued use of the parking areas is guaranteed throughout the life of the land use.
(2) 
A parking facility that is separated from the use being served by a public road may be permitted by the Planning Commission as part of an approved site plan.
C. 
Joint parking spaces. Joint parking spaces are permitted subject to the following conditions:
(1) 
The individual establishments sharing the joint parking spaces shall not normally be opened or used during the same principal operating hours.
(2) 
The establishments sharing parking spaces shall be bound by a written agreement, which shall be submitted to the Planning Commission for approval.
(3) 
Each joint parking space may fulfill the requirement for one off-street parking space required for each establishment bound by the written agreement.
A. 
General.
(1) 
No part of any parking space shall be closer than 10 feet to any public way.
(2) 
Required off-street parking and loading spaces shall have unobstructed access to a county or state road.
(3) 
Off-street parking areas shall be designed so that it will not be necessary for vehicles to back into any road or public way.
(4) 
Each required parking space shall measure not less than nine feet in width and not less than 18 feet in length.
(5) 
Parking, driveway and circulation areas of all developments 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.
(6) 
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.
(7) 
Parking provisions for the physically handicapped shall be provided pursuant to the provisions of the Americans With Disabilities Act and the Maryland Building Code for the Handicapped.
(8) 
Any lighting used to illuminate off-street parking areas shall be so arranged as to direct the light down, towards the parking area, and away from adjoining lots in nonbusiness and nonindustrial districts and from any public way. Lighting shall not cause objectionable glare on neighboring parcels or roadways.
B. 
Parking areas for four or more vehicles.
(1) 
General. The following requirements apply to parking areas for four or more vehicles, with the exception of parking areas serving single-family and two-family dwellings, and manufactured homes on single lots or in manufactured home parks:
(a) 
Parking areas shall be surfaced so as to provide a durable and dustless surface and shall be graded and drained to dispose of all surface water.
(b) 
Parking spaces shall be appropriately demarcated with painted lines or other markings.
(c) 
Parking areas shall be screened from any lot in a nonbusiness or nonindustrial district by an ornamental wall, fence or hedge not less than three feet in height.
(d) 
For a site containing over 30 parking spaces, an internal parking area landscaping plan shall be submitted as part of a required site plan. The parking area landscaping plan shall include landscaping and landscaped islands or medians designed to relieve the monotony of large expanses of paving and to contribute to efficient and safe circulation of traffic in parking areas. For residential developments a minimum of one shade tree shall be provided per 10 parking spaces. For nonresidential developments a minimum of one shade tree shall be provided per 20 parking spaces.
(2) 
Additional requirements for business and industrial districts.
(a) 
All parking areas, loading areas and driveways in business and industrial zoning districts shall be approved by the County Engineer.
(b) 
Interior driveways in commercial and industrial zoning districts shall measure not less than 12 feet wide for one-way traffic and not less than 20 feet wide for two-way traffic.
A. 
Requirements for specific uses. Minimum parking and loading requirements for specific uses are shown in § 155-58, Table of Minimum Required Parking Spaces by Use.
B. 
Application of requirements; deviations.
(1) 
The requirements of the Table of Minimum Required Parking Spaces by Use shall be provided in addition to any area used for parking of vehicles owned by or used in a business. Required off-street parking facilities shall not be used for the display or storage of vehicles which are for sale or rent or are being stored while awaiting repair.
(2) 
Parking requirements for accessory uses shall be provided in addition to the required parking for the principal use.
(3) 
In the case of a use which is not specifically mentioned in the table, the provisions for a use which is mentioned and is most similar shall apply.
(4) 
Where a structure or site contains multiple uses, parking requirements for each use shall be applied, unless it is shown to the satisfaction of the Planning Commission that the periods of primary parking space use associated with each activity inherently occur at different times. Examples of nonconflicting use include offices (day use) and dwellings or hotels (evening use), or offices (weekday use) and churches (weekend use).
(5) 
If in the application of the parking requirements of this section a fractional number is obtained, one parking space shall be provided for a fraction of 1/2 or more, and no parking space shall be required for a fraction less than 1/2.
(6) 
Deviations from requirements.
(a) 
Due to the particularities of any given development, the inflexible application of the parking and loading standards set forth in this article may result in a development either with inadequate parking space or parking space far in excess of its needs. Therefore, the Planning Commission, through the site plan approval process and after considering the comments of county agencies, may permit deviations from the minimum parking and loading requirements of this article and may require more or less parking and loading if it finds that such deviations are more likely to satisfy the standards and guidelines set forth in this article and the purpose of this chapter.
(b) 
Should the Planning Commission approve deviations that are less than the minimum parking and loading requirements, the Commission may require that the following statement be included on the site plan: "Should approved parking become inadequate, additional parking may be required by the Planning Commission at a later date."
Off-street loading and unloading facilities shall be provided for retail and service business establishments, restaurants and other places serving food and beverages, manufacturing, wholesale business, storage warehouses and other commercial or industrial establishments. Loading facilities shall be:
A. 
Of sufficient size to accommodate the numbers and types of vehicles that are likely to use the area given the nature of the use. As a guide, structures with a gross floor area of 10,000 square feet or more shall provide a minimum of one loading space, plus an additional loading space per each additional 20,000 square feet.
B. 
Located on the same site with the use to be served.
C. 
Separate from parking spaces and driveways serving parking spaces.
D. 
Located and designed so as not to impede vehicular or pedestrian circulation.
E. 
Located in a side or rear yard but no closer than six feet from any lot line unless a variance is granted. Loading facilities may only be located in a front yard if it is demonstrated that a location to the side or rear is impractical.
F. 
Designed to permit vehicle ingress, egress and required on-site turning without infringement on any public way or other lot.
G. 
Screened from any lot in a noncommercial or nonindustrial district or from public ways by a fence, hedge or other appropriate means.
H. 
Not less than 12 feet wide and 45 feet long for each space.
Minimum required parking spaces shall be as follows:
Use
Minimum Spaces Required
Agriculture/aquaculture
Agricultural fertilizer, livestock feed and grain mixing, storage and sale
1 space per employee, plus one space per 200 sf
Agricultural processing
1 space per employee on the major shift, or 2 spaces per 1,000 sf, whichever is greater
Grain processing, drying and storage
1 space per employee on the major shift
Greenhouse and plant nursery (retail)
1 space per 200 sf
Greenhouse and plant nursery (wholesale)
1 space per 400 sf
Livestock auction house and sales yard
1 space per 1.5 patrons based on estimated maximum capacity, plus 1 space per employee
Produce stands
1 space per 120 sf of display and sales area; minimum of 2 spaces
Aquaculture
1 space per employee, plus 1 per 200 sf of sales area
Use
Minimum Spaces Required
Commercial Business and Personal Services
Adult cabaret
1 space per 100 sf
Animal hospitals and veterinary clinics
1 space per 200 sf
Automobile service facilities
3 spaces, plus 4 spaces with car wash; plus 3 spaces per service bay; plus 1 space per 200 sf of retail sales area
Banks and other financial institutions
1 space per 200 sf, plus 5 waiting spaces per drive-through lane
Bars, cocktail lounges, nightclubs
1 space per 100 sf
Building and landscape contracting and maintenance
1 space per 400 sf
Clothing bag, carpet and rug cleaning
1 space per employee on the major shift, or 2 spaces per 1,000 sf, whichever is greater
Commercial, trade or business schools
1 space per 3 students, plus additional spaces based on the capacity of assembly areas or other facilities
Dispatching services
1 space per employee on the major shift
Funeral homes and crematoriums
1 space per 100 sf
Hotels, motels
1 space per guest room, plus additional spaces for conference centers, athletic facilities open to non-guests, restaurants, banquet facilities, retail sales areas and other accessory uses
Inns
1 space per guest room, plus additional spaces for facilities open to non-guests
Kennels
1 space per 200 sf
Marine equipment service and repairs
1 space per 500 sf
Massage parlors
1 space per 200 sf
Office buildings
1 space per 300 sf
Personal services
1 space per 300 sf
Professional services
1 space per 300 sf
Restaurants
1 space per 100 sf
Restaurants, drive-in
1 space per 75 sf, plus 5 waiting spaces per drive-through window
Theaters/movie houses
1 space per 3 fixed seats
Use
Minimum Spaces Required
Commercial Retail
Adult entertainment center
1 space per 100 sf
Agricultural machinery or equipment sales and incidental repairs
1 space per 200 sf
Automobiles, trucks, recreational vehicles, boats and manufactured home parking, sales and storage
1 space per 200 sf
Lumber and other building materials dealers
1 space per 200 sf
Retail stores
1 space per 200 sf
Retail stores, small
1 space per 200 sf
Sale and storage of goods produced or processed by a permitted use on the site
1 space per 200 sf of retail sales area
Shopping center, neighborhood
1 space per 200 sf
Stone monument sales and works
1 space per 200 sf of retail sales plus 1 space per employee
Use
Minimum Spaces Required
Industrial
Asphalt and concrete mixing plants
1 space per employee on the major shift, or 1 space per 500 sf, whichever is greater
Bottling and distribution of beverages
1 space per employee on the major shift, or 1 space per 500 sf, whichever is greater
Brewing or distilling
1 space per employee on the major shift, or 1 space per 500 sf, whichever is greater
Brick, pottery, tile and terra cotta manufacturing
1 space per employee on the major shift, or 1 space per 500 sf, whichever is greater
Chemical, physical and biological laboratories
1 space per employee on the major shift, or 1 space per 500 sf, whichever is greater
Flammable liquid storage and wholesale distribution
1 space per employee on the major shift, or 1 space per 500 sf, whichever is greater
Ice manufacturing/cold storage
1 space per employee on the major shift, or 1 space per 500 sf, whichever is greater
Junk and salvage yards
1 space per 400 sf, plus 1 space per 5,000 sf of storage area
Land clearing debris landfills and rubble landfills, commercial
20 spaces per facility, plus waiting spaces appropriate to the size and scale of the facility
Manufacturing and repair of sheet metal products
1 space per employee on the major shift, or 1 space per 500 sf, whichever is greater
Manufacturing, general
1 space per employee on the major shift, or 1 space per 500 sf, whichever is greater
Mineral extraction activities
1 space per employee on the major shift
Paper and pulp manufacturing
1 space per employee on the major shift, or 1 space per 500 sf, whichever is greater
Printing/publishing plants
1 space per employee on the major shift, or 1 space per 500 sf, whichever is greater
Sawmills, commercial
1 space per employee on the major shift
Sewage sludge storage facilities, enclosed and indoor
1 space per employee on the major shift
Sewage sludge storage facility, outdoor
1 space per employee on the major shift
Solid waste processing facilities, indoor and outdoor
1 space per employee on the major shift
Slaughtering and processing of animals
1 space per employee on the major shift
Warehouses, mini
1 space per 500 sf
Warehousing and distribution centers
1 space per 500 sf
Waste composting facility
1 space per employee, plus waiting spaces appropriate to the size and scale of the facility
Use
Minimum Spaces Required
Institutional
Churches and temples
1 space per 4 seats or 8 linear feet of bench seating in the main assembly area or, if there are no fixed seats or benches, 1 space per 100 sf
Day-care centers
1 space per 300 sf
Educational institutions, public or private, boarding and nonboarding
Elementary and middle: 1 space per 6 students; other institutions: 1 space per 3 students
Group homes
1 space per employee plus 1 space for each 4 residents
Hospitals and medical clinics
Hospitals: 1 space per 2 beds plus 1 space per employee on the major shift; medical clinics: 1 space per 200 sf
Meeting halls and facilities for clubs, lodges and fraternal societies
1 space per 300 sf
Nursing or convalescent homes
1 space per 2 beds
Public and quasi-public buildings and structures
1 space per 400 sf; except 1 space per 200 sf for museums, libraries and similar uses
Rehabilitation residence
1 space per employee, plus 1 space for each 4 residents; minimum of two spaces shall be provided
Studios for instruction in art, music, dance, drama, crafts or physical education
1 space per employee, plus 1 space per 300 sf
Water-dependent research facility
1 space per 300 sf
Use
Minimum Spaces Required
Maritime
Commercial boat building
1 space per employee on the major shift
Commercial marinas and piers
1 space per 2 boat slips
Commercial shedding operations
1 space per employee on the major shift
Community piers and related boat facilities
1 space per 2 boat slips
Seafood processing
1 space per employee on the major shift or 2 spaces per 1,000 sf, whichever is greater
Yacht clubs
1 space per 2 boat slips
Use
Minimum Spaces Required
Recreational
Amusements, commercial indoor
Health club: 1 space per 100 sf; billiards: 2 spaces per table; bowling: 4 spaces per lane; tennis: 6 spaces per court
Amusements, commercial outdoor
1.5 spaces per tee, hole or cage
Boat rentals, commercial
1 space per 3 boats
Campground, primitive
2 spaces per campsite
Campground, commercial
2 spaces per campsite; the parking area shall be part of the required 1,000 sq. ft. per campsite
Golf courses and country clubs
3 spaces per hole plus additional spaces for ancillary uses
Hunting and fishing clubs, excluding shooting ranges
1 space per 300 sf
Large recreational facilities
1 space per 3 fixed seats or, if there are no fixed seats, 1 space per 100 sf available to the public
Public or nonprofit park and recreation areas
Swimming pools: 1 space per 4 persons allowed by design capacity; may be reduced for pools with walk-in users such as in a community
Riding stables, commercial
1 space per 4 stalls
Shooting ranges, commercial
1 space per shooting alley
Swimming pools, commercial
1 space per 4 persons allowed by design capacity
Use
Minimum Spaces Required
Residential
Accessory apartments
1 space per apartment
Apartments
2 spaces per dwelling unit
Bed-and-breakfast homes
1 space per guest room in addition to required parking for the owner
Boarding and lodging house
1 space per sleeping room
Business dwelling
2 spaces
Farm labor housing for occupancy during the harvest season
2 spaces per dwelling unit
Home occupations and home-based contractors
1 space per nonresident employee working on the premises, plus 1 space if business-related visitors visit the premises
Housing for elderly persons
1 space per dwelling unit
Manufactured homes
2 spaces per dwelling unit
Mobile homes
2 spaces per dwelling unit
Resort development
Required spaces shall be determined based on the mix and nature of the uses, including the potential for joint parking
Single-family dwellings, attached
2 spaces per dwelling unit
Single-family dwellings, detached
2 spaces per dwelling unit
Townhouses
2 spaces per dwelling unit
Two-family dwellings
2 spaces per dwelling unit
Use
Minimum Spaces Required
Utilities
Communication equipment buildings
2 spaces per building
Electrical power plants
1 space per employee on the major shift
Gas generating for illuminating or heating
1 space per employee on the major shift
Wastewater treatment plants
1 space per employee on the major shift
NOTE:
In this table "sf" refers to square feet of floor area.