Providing adequate off-street surface parking is a key component of land planning. Typical ranges of the land area required per parking space are used for the concept-level planning for parking areas. During the design phase, alternative parking layouts are developed to identify the most efficient use of the available parking area, and to confirm that the area provided for parking is sufficient to meet local standards for the required number of parking spaces.
Determine the total number of spaces or stalls that are required in the proposed parking area. Parking requirements for office, commercial, residential and institutional uses are often defined by local land-use codes.
Estimate the area per parking stall that is appropriate for the site. Typical ranges for surface parking lots are 300 to 350 square feet per parking stall, which includes the area required for the parking stall and drive aisles. Oddly configured sites, such as those with unusual shapes, or narrow sites are more difficult to use efficiently for parking, and the land area required per stall will be higher.
Compute the paved area required for parking by multiplying the required number of stalls by the estimated land area per stall. As an example, a 200-space parking lot that is estimated to require 325 square feet per stall will need a paved area of 65,000 square feet, or about 1.5 acres. The actual required land area will be refined when the design of the parking lot layout is completed.
Identify landscaping requirements for the parking lot. Again, local land-use codes may define these requirements. The total site area required for the parking lot is the paved area for parking plus the area required for landscaping and any other parking lot amenities.