New Albany City Council and the city planning commission are considering legislation that would allow some local companies to have fleet parking off-site in the city's general employment (GE) and limited industrial (LI) districts.

New Albany City Council and the city planning commission are considering legislation that would allow some local companies to have fleet parking off-site in the city's general employment (GE) and limited industrial (LI) districts.

"This would be modified where the larger business users are, only in the business parks," said Kathryn Meyer, deputy community development director.

Meyer presented a legislative amendment to the New Albany Planning Commission on June 20. The commission tabled the legislation pending more information.

City council then heard first reading of the legislation June 21. Council typically passes legislation on a second reading, which has been set for July 19.

Meyer said the city currently only allows fleet parking as an "accessory use" for warehouses and distribution facilities. The amended legislation would allow fleet parking as a "conditional use" in the GE and LI districts.

Meyer said the legislation as written would require the parking to be associated with a primary user, require additional landscaping of the parking area and would not allow immobile vehicles to be parked there. She said city staff members wrote the legislation requiring the fleet parking area to be within 300 feet of the primary user, thinking the parking normally would be located across the street or at an adjacent lot.

"Proximity was important to us," Meyer said.

Planning commission member Brad Shockey asked if a company could move the parking 500 feet away if it could get a variance.

Meyer said it could not because that would require a variance of use, which would not be allowed.

Shockey said the legislation might be too restrictive.

"In some situations, they could have a better location further away and this precludes that," Shockey said.

Commission members also asked about the required landscaping, which could include mounds to prevent people from seeing the entire parking lot. Members recommended the slope of the mounds be changed to allow a more natural-looking environment.

Meyer said the legislation would apply primarily to the area near Smith's Mill Road and Beech Road, where tax incentives, such as the city's tax-increment financing (TIF) districts, preclude businesses from combining lots to add more parking.

lwince@thisweeknews.com