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Pacific Southwest, Region 9

Serving: Arizona, California, Hawaii, Nevada, Pacific Islands, Tribal Nations

When do unpaved parking lot requirements apply and what is required?

Owner J. My piece of unpaved property is used by people for temporary free parking when they can't find a spot on nearby paved surfaces. I don't know how often this occurs but my guess is that over 10 cars total park on it throughout any given day. I don't specifically allow or desire people to park on it, but have ignored this activity up to now.
Does the FIP Rule Apply? Yes.
What is required? Since parking occurs on the property, it is considered an unpaved parking lot and is subject to the requirements for paving, stabilizing or gravelling. In this case, however, the owner may wish to fence off or place barriers around the part of property used for parking. If parking is prevented, the property would no longer be considered an unpaved parking lot under the FIP rule but rather a vacant lot. The fencing or barriers will prevent trespass, thereby complying with vacant lot motor vehicle disturbance requirements. If the lot has ½ acre or more of disturbed surface due to parking, the owner should also water it down or apply a stabilizer to form a crust. (Another alternative is gravel). As long as the surface is not re-disturbed in the future, the lot should be in compliance with the FIP rule.

Owner K. My unpaved parking lot is quite large, but most of it is not driven on at all. A small portion of the lot is used exclusively on weekdays for parking by my 25 employees. Am I required to stabilize the entire lot or can I simply stabilize the areas where cars park?
Answer: The rule only requires that surfaces where cars enter and park be stabilized. For surfaces that are clearly not disturbed by vehicle use, the owner is not required to pave, use chemical or organic stabilizers or gravel. To ensure that vehicles are only driven on the portion of the lot that is to be stabilized, owners can use barriers (such as ropes or cones) or post signs that prohibit parking on other parts of the lot.

Owner L. My lot is registered with Maricopa County as a vacant lot. Some heavy-duty trucks park on the lot occasionally, disturbing the surface. Never more than 10 trucks park on the lot on any given day. Is my lot exempt from the FIP rule?
Answer: The lot can be defined as both an unpaved parking lot (due to its use for parking) and a vacant lot since it is registered as such by Maricopa County. The lot is exempt from unpaved parking lot requirements since 10 or fewer vehicles use it for parking on any given day. However, the lot is subject to RACM for motor vehicle trespass on vacant lots and potentially subject to RACM for disturbed surfaces on vacant lots if ½ acre or more of surface is disturbed.
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