Los Angeles councillors have backed an ordinance that would allow real estate developers, landlords and business owners to reduce the number of parking spaces to be supplied their buildings and projects.
According to the Los Angeles Times, the action represents an effort to breathe new life into tanking business districts and drive new housing construction while getting more people out of their cars. Two weeks ago, officials in West Hollywood began allowing smaller businesses on the city’s western edge to pay the city money in lieu of providing a space. The credit for one parking space is just $375 per year.
The current minimum requirement for a commercial business is two parking spaces for every 1,000 square feet of office. A retail store needs to provide four spaces for that amount of floor space and a restaurant must come up with 10. View our previous blog post, ‘Minimum parking to blame for LA’s commercial inefficiency’, which looks at the effect of minimum parking requirements on businesses here.
A range of changes are being implemented and considered throughout the city from converting older empty office buildings into residential units, reducing parking around key subway stations, removing the requirement for developers to provide parking on the same site as the development, and even the possibility of introducing permits to reduce parking without a lengthy review process.
Flexible parking rules should be ‘the norm’ in Los Angeles, recognising (perhaps for the first time) that the city’s residents can actually walk a block or two to a restaurant, a movie theatre, or a wine bar.