parking lot

Photo by Danny Fulgencio

The city of Dallas requires restaurants to provide one free parking spot for every 100 square feet of interior space.

That 1:100 ratio doesn’t include restaurant seating on patios and rooftops lacking permanent covering, however. So on the 200 or so days a year when Dallas weather allows al fresco dining, some restaurants with patios could put exponents on their capacity.

The Dallas City Plan Commission could take up a proposal next year to change that.

City Councilman Phillip Kingston says there are a few factions:

  • Hardliners who think uncovered patios should be parked the same as interior space,
  • New urbanists who think the city already is too car-centric and that no fix is needed and
  • Those who think there should be some parking requirement for patio seating but less than what’s required for indoor seating.

Kingston suggested one space for every 500 square feet of patio, which is more of an instinct and “not a detailed calculus.”

He says complaints about this come in mostly from Lower Greenville and Bishop Arts, two neighborhoods with robust patio scenes. But he says he’s undecided on the issue until he hears from more neighborhood groups.

The city’s Zoning Ordinance Committee could take up the issue in December and pass it on to Plan Commission next year.