An editor at the Norwalk (CT) Patch has written a wonderful column about parking minimums. He is dead on with everything he says. Read it Here: The Money Quote:
For any business of a given type and size, Planning & Zoning has a formula spelling out much parking to provide. These formulas ensure, for example, that even during the Christmas Eve rush, Toys R Us will have more than enough spots for everybody. For the rest of the year those spots sit empty, collecting litter, generating runoff and blighting the neighborhood. Nobody likes to live by a parking lot, least of all an empty one.
So we have Cafe 507 on West Ave unable to relocate because, apparently, the new location doesn’t have enough parking for a bar. (Yes, parking minimums also promote hassle-free drinking and driving.) And today in the news we have Beach Burger in East Norwalk forced to remove its chairs. The concern isn’t lack-of-parking. There is a ton of on-street parking and the owner also owns the spacious Mr. Frosty’s lot next-door. But on-street parking doesn’t count toward parking minimums. Nearby parking doesn’t count either. No, every business must provide ample off-street parking right on their property. Fortunately, Beach Burger already has some pre-existing parking that can be approved as customer parking, so customers will get their chairs back soon.
I’m excited that this article was written without a mention of the Shoup Dogg. I’m sure he will be too. It means that folks are starting to think about the problem and maybe will actually do something about it.
By the way, he does talk about the Champs Elysee as an example of a great avenue that doesn’t have tons of off street parking and still works quite well, thank you very much. Good point, however he might want to consider that when the zoning folks in the 19th century when Baron Haussmann worked on rebuilding the city the problem of parking was most likely relegated to ccarriages that had horses, not the other kind.