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What are the benefits of integrating parking into a Master Plan?

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In years past, it was most common to develop housing in one area, while entertainment, retail, restaurant, and work destinations were located in separate locations further away.  This approach created inconvenience and a loss of time and energy, as people needed to drive to numerous locations to accomplish tasks. Furthermore, parking was located separately and in inconvenient locations, creating a need to drive to additional destinations. Today however, developers are now recognizing the many benefits to incorporating numerous uses in a centralized area, and this has resulted in countless successful projects.

It is important to keep in mind when planning for development that creating a master plan is a very important step.  Planning for future development benefits everyone involved, from government officials and developers to business owners, residents and patrons, assisting them in knowing what to expect, when to expect it, and how they will be affected. Master Planning is particularly valuable because it provides a road map for best implementing strategic design decisions. In addition, planning early to effectively integrate parking is an important step to bringing people to a destination and creating a pleasant experience.

Another positive outcome of developing a master plan is that it assists in project cost estimating.  Knowing what the future holds regarding development in an area creates opportunities for costs to be adequately determined, and financing can be planned accordingly.  In addition, planning makes sure every piece of the development – housing, parking, retail, offices, etc. – are all situated in the best way possible, which will help to reduce the likelihood of problems when the development is constructed, thereby resulting in lower overall costs.

Creating a master plan for any project, large or small, is always a smart growth approach.  Whether developing an entire area of a town, city, or campus, or implementing a parking plan, having a master plan is the first step to a successful result.

*Federal, State, and Local codes govern most of these requirements and should be thoroughly investigated. Data presented herein should be considered guidelines only.  For more specific information and assistance with implementation of these guidelines, please contact TimHaahs via email at