Prior Lake Downtown Parking Study

Prior Lake, Minnesota

The City of Prior Lake, in partnership with the Scott County Community Development Agency (CDA), worked to conduct a parking study for their downtown area. The parking study included a comprehensive review of the downtown parking supply and demand, with necessary recommendations to serve the area well into the future. Importantly, the study was to select an appropriate site for a future parking facility.

SRF was retained and quickly engaged downtown businesses and property owners and stakeholders in the planning process to determine their parking needs and future redevelopment initiatives. We also conducted a workshop with project staff and members of the City Council, Planning Commission, and Economic Development Authority, which focused on potential sites for future parking structures/lots and potential design characteristics.

SRF collected existing conditions data and assessed the current parking supply via a utilization survey of on-street and off-street parking. The inventory and utilization data were coded in GIS, which enables City staff to maintain and update the downtown’s parking inventory dynamically as modifications are made with (re)development.

SRF also gathered information on land use quantities and occupancy, employees, and residences throughout the study area by zone/block. We created a spreadsheet-based model to determine the current and future parking demand of each block. Parking demand was then compared to existing parking supply to determine areas of surplus or deficits.

SRF also assisted in determining how a new parking facility could be integrated into the community. Potential sites for consideration were driven by land availability, known redevelopment plans, and willing sellers. The site evaluation process assessed vacancy, market value, access, traffic circulation, utilities, and other quantifiable items (i.e., planning-level construction, operations, and maintenance costs).  SRF also prepared conceptual renderings of how the preferred parking facility would be designed to embrace the surrounding environment.

SRF completed cost estimates for each option, including a financial analysis to determine the capital construction, operating, and maintenance costs, as well as a financial plan that offers strategies for local revenue and external revenue sources.

Additionally, SRF presented recommendations on other key parking elements:

  • Parking operations/management options
  • Parking expansion /efficiency options
  • Parking fee structure consideration
  • Wayfinding systems to under-utilized parking


City of Prior Lake and the Scott County Community Development Agency