Monthly Archives: January 2019

The Poison Pill of Requiring New and Relatively Affordable Housing to Provide Off-Street Parking

 

By Dom Nozzi

July 3, 2018

Eliminating parking requirements – and not just for smaller and more affordable housing – is being done by a large and growing number of cities, as doing so is a powerful way to achieve quite a few very important community objectives: walkable and compact urban form, much higher levels of transit/walking/cycling, achieving climate change goals, stormwater management, ecosystem protection, community equity, affordability, and safety…

It is incredibly unfair that the less wealthy subsidize the more wealthy – not to mention subsidizing motorists.

Shame on Boulder for dragging its feet on converting minimum parking requirements to maximum parking requirements. This parking reform should have been done at least 15-20 years ago. Even Gainesville FL – MUCH more conservative than Boulder – did so 20 years ago.

I am so disappointed and surprised by how much Boulder remains in the Dark Ages regarding transportation.

Much lip service is paid in Boulder about retaining small businesses or providing affordable housing. But the fact that Boulder has dragged its feet for so many years without taking such a no-brainer action makes it self-evident that Boulder is not serious about meaningfully striving to retain small businesses or correcting the extreme affordable housing crisis. Many in Boulder talk about these things but are not willing to take effective action to address.

Because required parking is often extremely costly to provide – particularly for smaller, more affordable properties, and particularly in Boulder, where land is crazy expensive, requiring parking as a condition for development approval is, in effect, a “poison pill” that makes the provision of affordable housing technically “legal” but in the real world financially impractical.

This state of affairs exemplifies a lack of leadership and a lack of being serious about promoting travel choice, affordable housing, and small businesses.

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Filed under Economics, Politics, Transportation, Urban Design