Shoppers claim parking too tight at new outlets

Outlet shoppers claim parking is too tight

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Folks eager to check out Charlotte's new outlet mall say they ran into some problems this weekend in the parking lot, saying the parking spots are too tight and not as spacious as other lots they've been in.

Putting their claims to the test, measuring tape tells the truth of how small the parking spaces at the Charlotte Premium Outlets really are.

We measured the spot we parked in at 7'2", which was a tight squeeze for our SUV, but the spot had a "C" on the ground meaning it's meant for a compact car.

Janice Patterson says that's not stopping big vehicles from posting up in those sections.

"If you don't have a compact car and you park down here, you don't have any room," Patterson said, "You have to park up on the other end where it doesn't say "C"."

We measured those other spots at 8'6".

Commercial Zoning Plans Reviewer Ron Jones says that's the standard requirement for any mall lot: eight-and-a-half-feet for a regular spot, and seven-and-a-half feet for a compact car spot, which is meant for a vehicle like a Toyota Corolla.

If we would have measured from the center of each parking spot line instead of the inside, the outlet mall would have met all criteria.

Compared to South Park Mall, the Charlotte Premium Outlets' spots aren't any smaller. Could the real problem just be big cars parking in the compact spots?

"That's causing a lot of problems," Patterson said.

Her advice to solve it?

"Find out what kind of car you drive."

Charlotte's Planning Department says 25-percent of a lot's parking spaces can be designated for compact cars, and there is no penalty if a bigger vehicle like an SUV parks there.


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