About an hour ago, the Board of Adjustment approved a request by NorthPark Center to reduce amount of parking required in its lots. The shopping mall asked the city to let it have 2,000 fewer spaces than the 11,000 required by city code. Which isn’t as crazy as it sounds. The actual request was for 224 spaces, as NorthPark already has a city-okayed 1,794 space deficit, but it had to apply for one big exemption for some reason I won’t pretend to understand.
Confusingly, the number of parking spaces (8,993, for the record) will stay the same. The only thing that’s changing is the city’s calculations of how many spaces are needed. Because apparently a furniture store (the defunct Robb & Stucky) needs 2.5 times less parking than the as-yet-unannounced retail store that will take its place. A couple of restaurants are also planning to add awnings to their outdoor seating, which doubles the number of spaces required for a similar area of, say, tables covered by big umbrellas. Plus, 1,100 square feet will likely be added as part of the renovation of the Robb & Stucky space (a whopping .07 percent addition to the 2 million square foot mall).