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Shared Parking

Best Practice Category:

Site Layout, Parking Layout, and Building Design Parking Management Transportation Demand Management


The concept of shared parking involves the use of a parking space to serve two or more individual land uses without conflict.  It is typically implemented as a way to maximize the usage of parking spaces, as most parking spaces are only used part of the time by a particular user group or for a particular facility.  Shared parking is best implemented under two conditions:

  • Variations in peak accumulation of vehicles as a result of different activity patterns of adjacent land uses (by hour or day).
  • Trip attraction to two or more adjacent land uses on a single auto trip to a given area or development.

Shared parking can enable a reduction in the amount of off-street parking required for projects, which can play an important role in attracting developer investments. Reducing off-street parking requirements can result in a lower project cost and free up additional space for other uses, such as additional retail space or residential units, which can make transit supportive development projects more feasible.  This can help accelerate the timing of new development and increase the amount of development that takes place within the area, and can consequently, facilitate the success of a transit supportive development project.

There are two main approaches to shared parking: (1) contractual agreements between adjacent uses and (2) establishing parking management districts. Contractual agreements involve legal agreements between properties owners that specifically define the circumstances under which parking spaces would be shared. Municipalities can encourage these types of agreements by promoting shared parking contracts in the development review process, especially if the proposed project includes uses with different peak times. The second approach to shared parking, parking management districts, encompasses an entire district with multiple property owners. A parking management district collects fees from all owners pertaining to the district, which is used to develop and maintain parking within a specific area (such as a parking structure).

Government policies, zoning codes, and development standards should be revisited to allow and encourage shared parking. Incorporating standard procedures for implementing shared parking is often seen as a best practice used to help calculate minimum parking requirements for different land uses, acceptable walking distances, requirements for sharing agreements, and enforcement. Another best practice is to establish sharing brokerage services to match sharing partners. This service can be managed by a transportation association or a unit within a local government agency.

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  • More efficient utilization of land and parking resources
  • Increased compactness near transit stations
  • More available space for mixed-use, affordable housing, and commercial retail
  • Reduced parking requirements


Pasadena Shared Parking Code

Pasadena Zoning Code Table 4-4 Establishes Maximum Distances for Off-Site Parking; City of Pasadena
Pasadena Zoning Code Table 4-4 Establishes Maximum Distances for Off-Site Parking; City of Pasadena

Section 17.46.050 of the City of Pasadena’s Zoning Code establishes the requirements and findings necessary for shared parking. In order to apply for shared parking, the applicant must file a minor conditional use permit, have parking space within walkable distance set forth in Section 17.46.020 Table 4-4 , sign a contractual agreement between the applicant and other property owners, submit a parking study, utilize the Urban Land Institute (ULI) Shared Parking methodology, locate parking in a zoning district where a Minor Conditional Use Permit application is allowed, and locate loading spaces in an adjoining lot. In addition, the applicant must submit findings that the spaces would spaces would be provided as long as the uses lawfully exist and the quantity of parking would exceed the level that otherwise is required.

San Diego Shared Parking Code

The City of San Diego implemented a Transit Overlay Zone to provide supplemental parking regulations for areas receiving a high level of transit service.   The intent of the Transit Overly Zone is to identify areas with reduced parking demand and to lower off-street parking requirements accordingly.

Section 142.045(c) of the City’s Municipal Code establishes parking ratios for shared parking.  Local jurisdictions seeking to apply the parking of shared concept within a TOD project should consider utilizing the City’s parking ordinance for reference as it identifies distinct parking ratios for shared parking in the Transit Area Overlay Zone.  Shared parking is subject to the parking ratios in the following table:

Ratio of spaces per 1,000 square feet of floor area unless otherwise noted)

Office (Weekday)



Office (Saturday)



Medical Office (Weekday)



Medical Office (Saturday)



Retail Sales



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City of Berkeley Shared Parking Code

The City of Berkeley permits shared parking through its zoning ordinance with the objective of maximizing the utility of its parking supply and to significantly reduce the amount of land devoted to parking throughout the city.  Section 23D.12.060 of the City of Berkeley’s Zoning Code establishes the requirements and findings necessary for shared parking.

The following excerpt from the City’s Shared Parking Code can be used as a model code example for local jurisdictions seeking to implement shared parking for the first time:

23D.12.060 Joint Use of Off-street Parking Spaces

  • A. The Zoning Officer may approve an AUP to allow a Joint Use Parking Agreement to satisfy off-street parking space requirements, if all of the following findings are made:
    1. The off-street parking spaces designated for joint use are located within 800 feet of the use to be served; and
    2. The times demanded for these parking spaces will not conflict substantially between the use offering the spaces and the use to be served; and
    3. The off-street parking spaces designated for joint use are not otherwise committed to satisfying the parking requirements for some other use at similar times.
  • B. The Board may approve a Use Permit authorizing the off-street parking requirements for offices in R-4 or R-5 Districts to be supplied jointly with off-street parking facilities provided for multiple dwellings, if it finds:
    1. No more than 20 percent of the off-street parking spaces required for the multiple dwelling use will serve as required off-street parking for offices; and
    2. The off-street parking spaces to be jointly used are located on the same lot as the offices which they are to serve, or on property under the same ownership within 300 feet from such offices.

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