How Parking Requirements Affect Apartment Development
Digested from “No Parking: Urban Transportation and Housing” in The Balance Sheet (10/31/16) by Cutright, Elizabeth
In the quest to increase the affordability of apartment living across the country, urban planners and policymakers are starting to question off-street parking requirements in new apartment construction, and some cities are taking action.
In its Housing Development Toolkit, the Obama administration suggests reducing or eliminating off-street parking requirements as one of a number of ways to increase affordable housing. The toolkit points out that when Seattle decreased minimum parking requirements in the city center, new development increased. A study of that policy shift found that the stricter parking requirements both reduced apartment supply and increased rents by 50 percent.
In an article in the October issue of NAA’s Units magazine, Jim McGinley, senior vice president and chief development officer at Monogram Residential Trust, discusses how his company approaches transit-oriented development. He says parking requirements “can complicate the architectural design process and ultimately drive up development costs” and suggests communities “start proactively targeting their infrastructure investments towards transit-serviced area land uses.”