To encourage future retail tenants, a request to reduce the number of parking spaces by over 30 within a Richardson shopping center got the green light.

Richardson City Council approved a variance to reduce the number of parking spaces required for the property by 31 during its March 25 meeting. The new number of required parking spaces is 306, compared to 337.

Two-minute impact

The approved variance applies to the Richland Village Shopping Center so long as a future tenant for a vacant building has a retail use, according to city documents. The vacant retail building has more than 11,600 square feet of space.

In the event a variance creates problems with parking within the shopping center, council could reconsider the exception, City Manager Don Magner said. Director of Development Services Sam Chavez said most shopping centers have too many parking spaces relative to demand and are considered overparked.

“Although the site was under-parked per code, it was overparked for demand,” Chavez said.

The backstory

A variance for the property was initially approved last year to accommodate a Pet Supplies Plus, which never moved in to occupy the space, Chavez said. A variance for the property to reduce parking spaces by 64 spots was granted in 2022.

Mark Cohen, the developer of the property and president of CenterPoint Commercial Properties, previously told the Richardson City Plan Commission the variance should help fill the vacant space within Richland Village Shopping Center.

Commissioners previously recommended approval of the 31-space variance during their March 7 meeting.

What else?

Unlike a special permit, which is typically assigned to an individual or entity and does not transfer, an approved variance sticks with the property until it is modified or repealed. The variance for the property only applies if a retail use occupies the vacant 11,647 square feet of space within the shopping center.

During the council and City Plan Commission meetings, Cohen did not provide any specifics on prospective tenants or a timeline for when the property might be leased out.