The City of Los Angeles is in the process of removing parking requirements for businesses in certain areas within the city. Read all about it in the LA Times here.
The deal is that areas would form parking districts and the parking requirements could be, with council/planning approval be reduced or removed. Seems that they have experimented with this in certain areas and the results have been astounding.
From the article:
Small business owner Corey Wilton said he and his wife, Michelle, could not have opened their small Eagle Rock restaurant without the ability to purchase such credits. The city’s previous requirements called for nearly a dozen off-street parking spots, an impossible task given the cafe’s location on Colorado Boulevard, he said.
The Wiltons were allowed to pay for “in lieu” spaces. Something like $375 per space per year. They would not have been able to build the parking spaces, there simply was no room. Now they can open their small restaurant and serve the area, fill an empty store, and provide commerce. Had they not been able to do this, the store would have remained vacant.
A similar program has allowed developers to renovate ‘loft’ buildings in downtown areas and people have been lining up to live in the buildings. These older buildings, now popular with young couples and empty nesters, were staying empty due to the parking requirements. By removing the requirements, the buildings were able to be renovated and put to good use.
As discussed by Don Shoup, parking requirements can restrict development and renovation of neighborhoods. People understand when they move into the buildings or open businesses what the parking situation is and make allowances for it. It makes a more pedestrian friendly environment, and if an entrepreneur wants to open a parking facility in the area, there are ready customers.
Way to go LA