• According to the data of the Polish Automotive Industry Association, throughout 2017, nearly half a million of new passenger cars were registered, which is 16.9% more than in 2016.
  • Under the applicable legislation, while developing a building plot, one must ensure parking spaces for cars belonging to permanent and visitor users, according to the plot’s use and the character of development.
  • The legislation does not specify the minimum number of parking spaces, but their indicator is set out in local zoning plans.

Each day, in large city housing estates there is constant struggle for parking places. Parking spaces are not created at a blistering pace similar to the increase in number of vehicles on Polish roads. The data from the Polish Automotive Industry Association show that in 2017 almost half a million of new passenger cars were registered, which is 16.9% more than in 2016. The worst is the situation in city centres, where it is impossible to arrange additional parking spaces, and under multi-storey blocks of even several hundred flats, with at least one car per flat.

The number of parking spaces must be specified in the construction project

The need to designate parking spaces near a building is envisaged in Chapter 3 of the Regulation of the Minister of Infrastructure of 12 April 2002 on the technical conditions to be met by buildings and their location. Under paragraph 18, when developing a building plot, one must arrange, in accordance with its use and the character of development, parking spaces for cars of permanent and visitor users, including parking spaces for vehicles used by persons with disabilities.

Those provisions do not specify how many parking spaces should be arranged. At another place in the Regulation, its designers refer us to the provisions of a local zoning plan – the number and layout of parking spaces should be adjusted to the requirements laid down in the decision on development and site management. To obtain a building permit, the developer must account in the construction design for the number and location of parking spaces in line with the guidelines set out in the decision on development conditions – says Jacek Kosiński from the law firm Jacek Kosiński Advocates and Legal Advisers.

Parking indicators pose a challenge to investors

The local zoning plan specifies precisely the percentage of an area intended for the investment to be allocated to a car park, in the event of commercial premises, and how many parking spaces should be arranged per one apartment. It is a matter left to the local authorities and such indicators may even differ among individual housing estates in the same city. However, it is generally assumed that there should be at least 120 parking spaces per 100 apartments. This poses a challenge and entails significant costs to developers – in practice, it is impossible that provision of a parking space might enable recovery of its construction costs. Apart from that, there are legal provisions specifying the distance between the building and the parking spaces. Under the legislative regime which entered into force as of 1 January 2018, newly-constructed or reconstructed parking spaces should be 20 cm wider than previously – their length should be 5 m and their width 2.5 m. As regards spaces for persons with disabilities, the width must be at least 3.6 m. In addition, the Regulation of the Minister of Infrastructure increases from 4 to 10 the maximum number of parking spaces located at least 7 meters away from the building.