Bill advances to slash parking requirements on projects

AB 1401 would prohibit cities from imposing minimum parking spaces for certain developments

State lawmakers consider ban on parking requirements (Getty)
State lawmakers consider ban on parking requirements (Getty)

With California’s affordable housing crisis and environmental concerns mounting, support is picking up for a bill that could drastically reduce parking requirements for development projects.

Assembly Bill 1401 would prohibit any public agency from imposing minimum parking requirements for certain projects within a half-mile of public transit, according to the Sacramento Bee. The State Assembly sent the bill to the Senate for review earlier this month.

Developers are required in many cities and jurisdictions to provide one parking spot per housing unit, increasing the cost of development and reducing the development’s allowable units. Parking requirements also exist for commercial projects.

The measure has the backing of some housing advocates and environmental advocates who argue it will reduce development costs and carbon emissions by encouraging public transit use.

Some cities have eliminated certain parking requirements, including San Diego, San Francisco, Oakland, Sacramento and Berkeley.

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L.A. has eased parking requirements in its Downtown district.

Sacramento planning director Greg Sandlund said that parking requirements for smaller projects like triplexes and fourplexes make them more difficult to build, discouraging development, according to the report.

Mike Griffiths, who is a Torrance Council member and founder of California Cities for Local Control, is in favor of the parking requirements. He said abolishing them could create “a negative energy” in communities.

“We want housing that adds to a neighborhood, not detracts from a neighborhood,” Griffiths said. “We really see that as a devaluing of what was once a nice, comfortable neighborhood.”

[SB] — Dennis Lynch