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(A) Purpose. The requirement that fire lanes be established in certain parking areas and the enforcement of restrictions on parking in such fire lanes established in this section are designed to ensure adequate access to commercial, office, multi-family, and other high density use facilities by fire-fighting and other emergency vehicles.
(B) Definitions. For the purpose of this section, the following definition shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.
FIRE LANE. A lane with a minimum width of 24 feet along the curb of a parking facility or off-loading roadway on private property nearest the building or structure served by such parking facility or off-loading roadway. Such lane shall be adequately accessible from the nearest public street for firefighting vehicles and other emergency vehicles to enter and exit efficiently while responding to an emergency.
(C) Basic regulations.
(1) A fire lane shall be provided in any off-street parking facility constructed or reconstructed subsequent to the effective date of this section, when such parking facility is required by the provisions of Section 303 J of the Zoning Ordinance for the City of Sunset Valley, Ordinance No. 851119 as amended from time to time, to include five or more parking spaces.
(2) Whenever a person or entity applies for a building or construction permit for construction that will necessitate the provision of a fire lane according to the terms of this section, such person or entity shall include in all plans and specifications submitted to the City Council the location and dimensions of all proposed fire lanes required by this section.
(3) City Council approval of any proposed fire lane required by this section shall be based on the adequacy of access to structures on the subject property provided by the proposed fire lane. A fire lane may be provided in an off-loading roadway on the subject property in lieu of providing a fire lane in a parking facility, if the City Council, in its discretion, determines that the off-loading roadway provides adequate access by emergency vehicles to structures on the subject property.
(4) All required fire lanes shall be delineated by a red stripe on the pavement marking the outside boundary from the curb of the fire lane. In addition, signs shall be conspicuously placed along the curb nearest the fire lane indicating the existence of the fire lane, and indicating that parking therein is prohibited.
(D) Variance. All requests for a variance from the requirements of this section must be submitted in writing to the City Council. The City Council may authorize a variance from the requirements imposed by this section when, in its opinion, undue hardship will result from requiring strict compliance or when alternative compliance will satisfy the purpose of this section.
(1) A violation of the requirement of a fire lane is a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of up to $100 per day for each day that a parking facility is in use in violation of this section.
(2) A person commits an offense if he or she parks a vehicle, other than an authorized emergency vehicle as defined in Tex. Rev. Civ. Stat. Ann. Art. 670ld § 2(d) in any properly designated fire lane, whether such lane is required by this section, or whether such lane was constructed, planned, or provided prior to the effective date of this section with the approval of the City Council. Such offense is a Class C misdemeanor.
(Ord. 920107A, passed 1-7-1992)