Township of Swatara, PA
Dauphin County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
A. 
Overall requirements.
(1) 
Number of spaces. Each use that is newly developed, enlarged, significantly changed in type of use, or increased in number of establishments shall provide and maintain off-street parking spaces in accordance with the Table of Off-Street Parking Requirements[1] and the regulations of this article.
[1]
Editor's Note: Said table is included immediately following Subsection A(4) of this section.
(2) 
Uses not listed. Uses not specifically listed in the Table of Off-Street Parking Requirements shall comply with the requirements for the most similar use listed in the Table of Off-Street Parking Requirements, unless the applicant proves, to the satisfaction of the Zoning Officer, that an alternative standard should be used for that use.
(3) 
Multiple uses. Where a proposed lot contains or includes more than one type of use, the number of parking spaces required shall be the sum of the parking requirements for each separate use.
(4) 
Parking landscaping. See §§ 295-123 and 295-124 of this chapter.
Table of Off-Street Parking Requirements
[Amended 3-11-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-6]
Use
Number of Required Spaces
Plus 1 Off-Street Parking Space for Each
Residential Uses
Dwelling unit, other than types listed separately in this table
2 per dwelling unit
As part of a new subdivision or land development, if a vehicle must be moved from one space in order to access the second space, then an additional parking space shall be available for each dwelling unit, such as an on-street space in front of the dwelling or an overflow parking lot
Home occupation
See § 295-96
Housing permanently restricted to persons 62 years and older and/or the physically handicapped
1 per dwelling/rental unit
1.2 nonresident employees
Boardinghouse
1 per rental unit or bed for adult, whichever is greater
Nonresident employee
Group home
1 per 2 residents, unless the applicant proves the home will be limited to persons who will not be allowed to drive a vehicle from the property
Employee
Institutional Uses
Place of worship or church
1 per 5 seats in room of largest capacity
For pews that are not individual seats, each 48 inches shall count as one seat
1.2 employees
Hospital
1 per 3 inpatient or outpatient treatment beds
1.5 employees
Nursing home
1 per 6 beds
1.5 employees
Assisted living facility and/or retirement community
1 per 5 beds, plus 1 for each individual dwelling unit
1.5 employees
Day-care center
1 per 10 children, with spaces designed for safe and convenient dropoff and pickup
1.5 employees
School, primary or secondary
1 per 3 students aged 16 or older
1.2 employees
Utility facility
1 per vehicle routinely needed to service facility
College or university
1 per 1.5 students not living on campus who attend class at peak times (plus required spaces for on-campus housing)
1.2 employees
Library, community center or cultural center or museum
1 per 5 seats (or 1 per 250 square feet of floor area accessible to patrons and/or users if seats are not typically provided)
1.5 employees
Treatment center
1 per 2 residents aged 16 years or older, plus 1 per nonresident intended to be treated on site at peak times
Nonresident employee
Swimming pool, nonhousehold
1 per 50 square feet of water surface, other than wading pools
1.5 employees
Commercial Uses
All commercial uses, as applicable, shall provide additional parking or storage needed for maximum number of vehicles stored, displayed or based at the lot at any point in time. These additional spaces are not required to meet the stall size and parking aisle width requirements of this chapter.
Auto service station or repair garage
5 per repair/service bay and 1/4 per fuel nozzle, with such spaces separated from accessways to pumps
1.5 employees, plus any parking needed for a convenience store under "retail sales"
Auto, boat, recreational vehicle or manufactured home sales
1 per 20 vehicles, boats, RVs or homes displayed
1.5 employees
Bed-and-breakfast use
1 per rental unit, plus the 2 per dwelling unit
Nonresident employee
Bowling alley
1 per lane, plus 2 per pool table
1.5 employees
Car wash
Adequate waiting, vacuuming and drying areas
1.5 employees
Enclosed regional mall complex (as defined in § 295-22)
1 per 333 square feet of leasable floor area (this ratio shall apply in the aggregate to the mix of all permitted uses at an enclosed regional mall complex in lieu of any specific ratio elsewhere in this table applicable to a component use if it were not part of an enclosed regional mall complex)
Financial institution (includes bank)
1 per 200 square feet of floor area accessible to customers, plus office parking for any administrative offices
1.5 employees
Funeral home
1 per 5 seats in rooms intended to be in use at one time for visitors, counting both permanent and temporary seating
1.5 employees
Miniature golf
1 per hole
1.5 employees
Hair cutting/hair styling
1.5 per customer seat used at the same time for hair cutting or hair styling
1.5 employees
Hotel or motel
1 per rental unit, plus 1 per 4 seats in any meeting room (plus any required by any restaurant)
1.5 employees
Laundromat
1 per 3 washing machines
1.5 on-site employees
Offices or clinic, medical/dental
5 per physician or physician's assistant and 4 per dentist
1.5 employees
Offices, other than above
1 per 300 square feet of total floor area
Personal service use, other than hair cutting/hair styling (minimum of 2 per establishment)
1 per 200 square feet of floor area accessible to customers
1.5 employees
Indoor recreation (other than bowling alley), membership club or exercise club
1 per 4 persons of maximum capacity of all facilities
1.5 employees
Outdoor recreation (other than uses specifically listed in this table)
1 per 4 persons of capacity (50% may be on grass overflow areas with major driveways in gravel)
1.5 employees
Restaurant
1 per 4 seats, or 3 spaces for a use without customer seats, unless the restaurant is part of a shopping center
1.5 employees
Retail sales (other than types separately listed and other than a shopping center)
1 per 200 square feet of floor area of rooms accessible to customers
1.5 employees
Retail sales of only furniture, lumber, carpeting, bedding or floor covering
1 per 800 square feet of floor area of rooms accessible to customers
Shopping center, other than an enclosed regional mall complex, involving five or more retail and/or restaurant establishments on a lot
1 per 200 square feet of leasable floor area, except 1 per 225 for a development including 401 to 599,000 square feet of leasable floor area and 1 per 250 square feet for a development including more than 600,000 square feet of leasable floor area
Tavern or nightclub or after-hours club
1 per 30 square feet of total floor area
1.5 employees
Theater or auditorium
1 per 4 seats, 1/2 of which may be met by convenient parking shared with other business uses on the same lot that are typically not routinely open beyond 9:00 p.m.
1.5 employees
Trade/hobby school
1 per 2 students on site during peak use
1.5 employees
Veterinarian office
4 per veterinarian
1.5 employees
Industrial Uses
In addition to parking or storage needed for maximum number of vehicles stored, displayed or based at the lot at any point in time, which spaces are not required to meet the stall size and aisle width requirements of this chapter
All industrial uses (including warehousing, distribution and manufacturing)
1 per 1.2 employees, based upon the maximum number of employees on site at peak periods of time
1 visitor space for every 10 managers on the site
Self-storage development
1 per 20 storage units
1.5 employees
A. 
General. Parking spaces and accessways shall be laid out to result in safe and orderly use and to fully take into account all of the following: vehicular access onto and off the site, vehicular movement within the site, loading areas, pedestrian patterns and any drive-through facilities. No parking area shall cause a safety hazard or impediment to traffic off the lot.
B. 
Existing parking.
(1) 
Any parking spaces serving such preexisting structures or uses at the time of adoption of this chapter shall not in the future be reduced in number below the number required by this chapter.
(2) 
If a new principal nonresidential building is constructed on a lot, then any existing parking on such lot that serves such building shall be reconfigured to comply with this chapter, including but not limited to requirements for channelization of traffic from adjacent streets, channelization of traffic within the lot, minimum aisle widths, paving and landscaping.
C. 
Change in use or expansion and conversions. A structure or use in existence at the effective date of this chapter that expands or changes in use of an existing principal building shall be required to provide all of the required parking for the entire size and type of the resulting use, except as follows:
(1) 
If an existing lawful use includes less parking than would be required if the use would be newly developed, then that deficit of parking shall be grandfathered for reuses of an existing building. For example, an existing store might include three parking spaces and would have been required to provide seven spaces if it was newly developed. Therefore, there is an existing nonconforming deficit of four spaces. Then, if that store is converted to an office that would need 10 spaces, the office would need to provide a total of six spaces (10 spaces minus the preexisting deficit of four equals six).
(2) 
If a nonresidential use expands by an aggregate total maximum of 5% in the applicable measurement (such as building floor area) beyond what existed at the time of adoption of this chapter, then no additional parking is required. For example, if an existing building included 3,000 square feet, and a single minor addition of 150 square feet was proposed, then additional parking would not be required. This addition without providing new parking shall only be allowed one time per lot.
(3) 
See also § 295-56, Conversion of existing buildings, which limits grandfathering of an existing parking deficit.
D. 
Continuing obligation of parking and loading spaces. All required numbers of parking spaces and off-street loading spaces shall be available as long as the use or building which the spaces serve still exists, and such spaces shall not be reduced in number below the minimum required by this chapter. No required parking area or off-street loading spaces shall be used for any other use (such as storage or display of materials) that interferes with the area's availability for parking.
E. 
Location of parking.
(1) 
Required off-street parking spaces shall be on the same lot or abutting lot with the principal use served, unless the applicant proves, to the satisfaction of the Zoning Hearing Board, that a method of providing the spaces is guaranteed to be available during all of the years the use is in operation within 300 feet of walking distance from the entrance of the principal use being served. Such distance may be increased to 500 feet for employee parking of a nonresidential use. A written and signed lease shall be provided, if applicable.
(2) 
The Zoning Hearing Board may require that the use be approved for period of time consistent with the lease of the parking, and that a renewal of the permit shall only be approved if the parking lease is renewed.
F. 
Reduction of parking requirements as a special exception.
(1) 
Purposes: to minimize the amount of land covered by paving, while making sure adequate parking is provided; to recognize that unique circumstances may justify a reduction in parking.
(2) 
As a special exception, the Zoning Hearing Board may authorize a reduction in the number of off-street parking spaces required to be provided for a use if the applicant proves, to the satisfaction of the Zoning Hearing Board, that a lesser number of spaces would be sufficient.
(a) 
The applicant shall provide evidence justifying the proposed reduced number of spaces, such as studies of similar developments during their peak hours. The applicant shall also provide relevant data, such as numbers of employers, peak expected number of customers/visitors and similar data.
(b) 
Under this section, an applicant may prove that a reduced number of parking spaces is justified because more than one principal use will share the same parking. In such case, the applicant shall prove that the parking has been designed to encourage shared use, and that long-term agreements ensure that the parking will continue to be shared. The amount of the reduction in parking should be determined based upon whether the different uses have different hours of peak demand and/or overlapping customers. In addition, an applicant may prove that parking needs will be reduced or that off-site parking is feasible because the applicant agrees to make a long-term commitment to a shuttle service for residents or employees.
(c) 
Reserved area for additional parking. Under this section, the Zoning Hearing Board may require that a portion of the required parking be met through a reservation of an area for future parking. The Board may require the reservation for a certain number of years or an indefinite period corresponding to the years the buildings are in use.
[1] 
Such reservation shall be in a form acceptable to the Zoning Hearing Board Solicitor that legally binds current and future owners of the land to keep the reserved parking area in open space and then to provide the additional parking if the Township determines it is necessary. A deed restriction is recommended.
[2] 
If approved under this Subsection F(2)(c), the applicant shall present a site plan to the Zoning Officer that shows the layout that will be used for the additional parking if the parking is required to be provided in the future. The site plan shall show that the additional parking is integrated with the overall traffic access and pedestrian access for the site, and that the additional parking will be able to meet Township requirements.
[3] 
The additional parking that is reserved under this subsection shall be required to be kept as landscaped open area, until such time as the Zoning Hearing Board decision may authorize the land's release from the restriction, or until the Township may require that the land be developed as parking.
[4] 
The Zoning Officer shall periodically review the sufficiency of the parking that is provided. If the Zoning Officer in the future determines that the reserved parking is needed to meet actual demand, he/she shall provide written notice to the property owner. The property owner shall then have one year to develop the reserved area into off-street parking in compliance with this chapter.
A. 
General requirements.
(1) 
Backing onto a street. No parking area shall be designed to require or encourage parked vehicles to back into a public street in order to leave a parking space, except for a driveway serving one dwelling or a driveway that enters onto a local street or parking court. Parking spaces may back onto an alley.
(2) 
Every required parking space shall be designed so that each motor vehicle may proceed to and from the parking space provided for it without requiring the moving of any other vehicle, unless specifically permitted otherwise.
(3) 
Parking areas shall not be within a required buffer yard or street right-of-way.
(4) 
Separation from street. Except for parking spaces immediately in front of individual dwellings, all areas for off-street parking, off-street loading and unloading and the storage or movement of motor vehicles shall be physically separated from the street by a continuous grass or landscaped planting strip, except for necessary and approved vehicle entrances and exits to the lot.
(5) 
Stacking and obstructions. Each lot shall provide adequate area upon the lot to prevent backup of vehicles on a public street while awaiting entry to the lot or while waiting for service at a drive-through facility.
B. 
Size and marking of parking spaces.
(1) 
Each parking space shall be a rectangle with a minimum width of nine feet and a minimum length of 18 feet, except the minimum sized rectangle shall be eight feet by 22 feet for parallel parking, and except where a larger space is required by Subsection C.
(2) 
For handicapped spaces, see Subsection G below.
(3) 
All spaces shall be marked to indicate their location, except those of a one- or two-family dwelling.
C. 
Aisles. Parking spaces and aisles shall be designed and built in conformance with the following:
Aisle Width
Angle of Parking
Parking Space Minimum Width
(feet)
Parking Space Minimum Depth
(feet)
One-Way Traffic
(feet)
Two-Way Traffic
(feet)
90°
9
18
22
24
55° to 89°
10
22
20
22
35° to 54°
10
21
16
22
1° to 34°
10
19
14
20
Parallel
8
22
12
20
D. 
Accessways and driveways.
(1) 
Width of driveway at entrance onto a public street, at the edge of the right-of-way of such street:
 
One-Way Use*
Two-Way Use*
Minimum width (feet)
12
22
Maximum width (feet)
20
30
*
This standard may be revised where the State Department of Transportation requires a different standard for an entrance to a state road, or where the applicant demonstrates to the Zoning Officer that a wider width is needed for truck or bus access.
(2) 
Drainage. Adequate provisions shall be made to maintain uninterrupted parallel drainage along a public street at the point of driveway entry. The Township may require an applicant to install an appropriate type and size of pipe at a driveway crossing.
(3) 
Setback. Residential driveways shall be set back three feet from the property line except shared driveways where a common access easement has been recorded.
[Added 3-8-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-4]
E. 
Maintenance and surfacing of parking area.
(1) 
All vehicle parking spaces, driveways, parking aisles and loading areas shall be graded and drained to the satisfaction of the Township Engineer. All off-street parking spaces shall be marked so as to indicate their location.
(2) 
All surfaces of parking spaces, loading aisles, vehicle entrances and exits from street and driveways shall be surfaced with asphalt, concrete or paving blocks. Parking on the grass shall be prohibited. The Township may approve other suitable durable surfaces, after a review by the Township Engineer, including the following:
[Amended 3-8-2017 by Ord. No. 2017-04]
(a) 
Parking areas with low or seasonal usage or that are designed for occasional emergency access may be approved to be constructed of stone, stabilized grass over stone or other suitable surfaces. For example, the Township may allow such parking spaces to be grass, while major aisles are covered by stone.
(b) 
If the design and materials are found to be acceptable by the Township Engineer, portions of parking areas may be covered with a low-dust porous parking surface that is designed to promote groundwater recharge. This might include porous asphalt or pervious concrete placed over approved stone.
F. 
Lighting of parking areas. See § 295-103, Exterior lighting, in Article V.
G. 
Parking for persons with disabilities.
(1) 
Number of spaces. See requirements of ANSI 117 or successor standards adopted under the Federal Americans With Disabilities Act[1] for parking for persons with disabilities. The following is a summary of some of the relevant requirements in effect as of the enactment of this chapter:
Total Number of Parking Spaces on Lot
Required Minimum Number/Percent of ADA-Accessible Parking Spaces
1 to 25
1 van accessible
26 to 50
2, 1 of which must be van accessible
51 to 75
3, 1 of which must be van accessible
76 to 100
4, 1 of which must be van accessible
101 to 150
5, 1 of which must be van accessible
151 to 200
6, 1 of which must be van accessible
201 to 300
7, 1 of which must be van accessible
301 to 400
8, 1 of which must be van accessible
401 to 500
9, 2 of which must be van accessible
501 to 1,000
2% of total number of spaces, 1/8 of which must be van accessible
1,001 or more
20, plus 1% of spaces for each 100 over 1,000 spaces, 1/8 of which must be van accessible
[1]
Editor's Note: See 42 U.S.C. § 12101 et seq.
(2) 
Location. Handicapped parking spaces shall be located where they would result in the shortest reasonable accessible distance to a handicapped-accessible building entrance. Curb cuts shall be provided as needed to provide access from the handicapped spaces.
(3) 
Minimum size and slope. See requirements of the Americans With Disabilities Act regulations.
(4) 
Marking. All required handicapped spaces shall be well-marked in compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act. Such signs and/or markings shall be maintained over time.
(5) 
Paving. Handicapped parking spaces and adjacent areas needed to access them with a wheelchair shall be covered with a smooth surface that is usable with a wheelchair.
H. 
Paved area setbacks (including off-street parking setbacks).
(1) 
Intent: to ensure that parked or moving vehicles within a lot do not obstruct sight distance or interfere with pedestrian traffic; to aid in stormwater management along streets; and to prevent vehicles from entering or exiting a lot other than at approved driveways.
(2) 
Any new or expanded vehicle parking or vehicle storage area serving a principal nonresidential use shall be separated from a public street by a planting strip. The planting strip shall have a minimum width of 10 feet and be maintained in grass or other attractive vegetative ground cover. The planting strip may be on one or both sides of any sidewalk, provided the planting width totals 10 feet. This ten-foot width shall be increased to 25 feet for a lot including 100 or more parking spaces.
(a) 
The planting strip shall not include heights or locations of plants that would obstruct safe sight distances, but may include deciduous trees that allow motorists to maintain views under the leaf canopy.
(b) 
The planting strip may be placed inward from the shoulder of an uncurbed street or inward from the curb of a curbed street. The planting strip may overlap the street right-of-way, provided it does not conflict with PennDOT requirements, and provided that the Township and PennDOT, as applicable, maintain the right to replace planting areas within the right-of-way with future street improvements.
(c) 
Approximately perpendicular driveway crossings may be placed within the planting strip. Mostly vegetative stormwater channels may be placed within the planting strip.
(d) 
The following shall be prohibited within the planting strip:
[1] 
Paving, except as allowed by Subsection H(2)(c) above, and except for street widening that may occur after the development is completed;
[2] 
Fences; and
[3] 
Parking, storage or display of vehicles or items for sale or rent.
(e) 
Where feasible, where a sidewalk is not installed, this setback should include an unobstructed generally level width running parallel to a street that is suitable for a person to walk.
(3) 
See landscaping requirements in §§ 295-123 and 295-124.
A. 
Each use shall provide off-street loading facilities, which meet the requirements of this section, sufficient to accommodate the maximum demand generated by the use and the maximum size vehicle, in a manner that will not routinely obstruct traffic on a public street and traffic entering and exiting the lot. If no other reasonable alternative is feasible, traffic may be obstructed for occasional loading and unloading along an alley, provided traffic has the ability to use another method of access.
B. 
At the time of review under this chapter, the applicant shall provide evidence to the Zoning Officer on whether the use will have sufficient numbers and sizes of loading facilities. The Planning Commission and/or Township Commissioners may provide advice to the Zoning Officer on this matter as part of any plan review by such boards. For the purposes of this section, the words "loading" and "unloading" are used interchangeably.
C. 
Each space and the needed maneuvering room shall not intrude into approved buffer areas and landscaped areas.
A. 
Fire lanes shall be provided where required by state or federal regulations or other local ordinances.
B. 
Access shall be also provided so that fire equipment can reach all sides of principal nonresidential buildings and multifamily/apartment buildings. This access shall be able to support a loaded fire pumper truck, but shall not necessarily be paved.
C. 
The specific locations of fire lanes and fire equipment access are subject to approval by the Township, after review by local fire officials.