The City of Fort Worth says it requires school districts to provide an excess of parking spots at their campuses, but that's about to change.
The Fort Worth Zoning Commission will take up a change to the formula that determines how many off-street parking spots a school is required to provide. The city council will address the issue on May 17.
In the ordinance changing the formula the city says school districts have had difficulties reaching the required number of parking spaces for new schools, new construction at older campuses and for the placement of temporary classrooms.
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City documents state that Fort Worth Independent School District campuses are typically older and in older neighborhoods where space to expand is less prevalent and the district doesn't wish to sacrifice outdoor areas for students in the name of parking spots.
Elementary and middle schools are required to have one space per 12 students plus one space for each employee. For example, an elementary school of 750 students, 60 employees and 20 classrooms would require 123 parking spots. The new proposal changes the formula to just 2.5 spots per classroom, resulting in a difference of 73 spots.
The high school formula is different, and depends on stadium seating as well, but it too could see a change. Instead of one space per two students the formula would change to six spaces per classroom, which would lower requirements by 600 spots.
Fort Worth ISD came to the city with this issue and other school districts support the change.
Many Fort Worth ISD campuses have seen construction in recent years with the 2014 Capital Improvement Program. While the city does grant variances for projects, the change should make things easier for district planners and the city alike.