In an effort to help attract businesses, the minimum number of required parking spaces could soon tick down within the Richland Village shopping center in Richardson.

The Richardson City Plan Commission recommended approval of a variance request to reduce the number of required parking spaces by 31 to 306 compared to 337 during its March 5 meeting.

The overview

City Planner Aaron Zilz said the property currently requires 337 spaces, and only 306 are provided. Last year, the applicant, Mark Cohen, president of CenterPoint Commercial Properties, requested a variance to accommodate a Pet Supplies Plus store, which ultimately never moved into the space.

Cohen said he requested a permanent variance, which he thinks will help fill a vacant retail space with an area more than 11,600 square feet after Pet Supplies Plus did not move in. He cited the delay for the variance as part of why the pet store never moved into Richland Village.

“We’ve had several attempts to lease the property,” Cohen said. “Once Pet Supplies Plus decided that the amount of time had passed between the time they signed their lease and the request for a variance, it didn’t meet their annual budgets for stores.”

Zooming in

Zilz said a parking analysis was conducted for the site and at its peak time—which is 6:30 p.m. Monday through Friday—showing an average of 124 parking spaces are occupied within Richland Village. During the study, the highest number of occupied spots was 134, according to city documents.

Planet Fitness moved into the shopping center in 2022, after the property was granted a variance to have 64 fewer parking spaces, which influenced the current requirement.

What’s next?

After the recommendation for approval, the request will be heard by Richardson City Council. However, no timetable was indicated for the future hearing in city documents.

If approved by council, a variance would stay with the property permanently as long as the 11,647-square-foot space has a retail use.