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norm21499

Remove Minimum Parking Requirements?

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Can Charlotte possibly change the law which requires a minimum amount of parking for developments? I found this article discussing this issue in Washington D.C. http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20080920/ap_on_re_us/less_parking I thought that it was an interesting read and I hope that Charlotte can possibly change the laws here too. The parking required for major shopping centers and the like, then the better, in my opinion.

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There are a significant number of laws, regulations, policies, and budget priorities that seek to make our society as convenient as possible for auto-dependency. My general feeling is that Charlotte will long be a laggard in the 21st century trend away from auto-dependency. So while I doubt it will happen, Charotte absolutely SHOULD take away minimum parking requirements so that there can be more areas that evolve into a denser development pattern that we can then follow up with transit investment. Right now, although it is still commendable, they have isolated transit corridors and put out TOD zoning which does have maximum parking levels versus minimum.

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I think that parking maximums should be established all across the city, but particularly within uptown.

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How do you think adjusting parking minimum or maximum laws would change development patterns, or would it?

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Well for starters it would reduce if not remove the volume of unused parking spaces, theoretically opening up land for development. Think about how many shopping center and mall parking lots are out there that are NEVER full, except for one day in November. Designing parking lots for the off chance of peak need is not unlike designing roads to handle peak rush hour volumes that happen for a total of 2 hours a day. Beyond that, it lets developers dedicate more land to buildings or open space, which increases the amount of return they can potentially receive.

It also reduces the amount of impervious surface that developers are required to build, reducing runoff and reducing the need for extensive PCCO related features like water retention ponds etc.

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I'd for removing minimum requirements, though I doubt you will see too much change. Developers know the market won't support businesses/residences without adequate parking.

Charlotte will have to get to a density and a level of transit patronage where businesses feel they can achieve a majority of their revenue from pedestrain traffic before we see many businesses chosing to be under parked.

To compound this, there is plenty of existing retail space with adequate parking in the city, so its a safe assumption that a businesses won't voluntarily reduce their competiveness.

As far as implementing maximums, we're not even close. The city needs to grow a set, and push for/mandate walkable corridors before it begins to force developers into stardards the market won't bear.

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I'd for removing minimum requirements, though I doubt you will see too much change. Developers know the market won't support businesses/residences without adequate parking.

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I think parking spaces at a residence are still somewhat of a must have in Charlotte, in fact, I'm not a big fan of on street parking in residential neighborhoods b/c it makes things dangerous for joggers and cyclists. Having said that, I think commercial spots that are neighborhood focused could definitely reduce their parking.

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Nobody is saying "remove" parking. Just change the way that the requirements work. We can all name countless shopping centers where parking lots are never more than 50% full at any given time- and its partially because people don't want to walk long distances to stores across a vast sea of parking. Why build so much of it if its not necessary?

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Clearly it is the chicken and egg problem. London has gotten so far on the other side of this issue, they have a relatively substantial congestion charge that gets imposed on every vehicle that drives into parts of the city. However they can do this because they offer very effective alternative transit. Here in Charlotte I don't think it would work very well until we have a more extensive transit system built along with maybe a generation or two who will build up the infrastructure to take advantage of it.

In order to get there, the city really needs to put together an urban development plan that 1. focuses more on just the center city, and 2. one that actually has some teeth to it that will require the city to stick to it. We should not be approving development like the Met, and especially encouraging it with tax money or places like Ikea which is right on the transit line. The reverse of the above problem is that for the most part, anyone living in the center city, has to have a car because it is very difficult to live in this city without one. That won't change until a citywide view on this issue is developed.

So in summary, while I don't think that radical change can happen now, the city can start to do things that will make the change possible in say 20 years. There absolutely huge opportunities for redevelopment on the transit corridors in Charlotte, but we have to have a city council and Mayor who has the vision to make it happen. The South LRT was a good start, but there are some lessons learned there that should be applied to future attempts at it.

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I agree with what Monsoon stated and it ties back in to my original concept. Businesses and residents won't chose to rent/live in places that don't have adequate parking until the car is no longer an essential part of life.

As Charlotte_Native pointed out, there are several projects that have slow sales because of the lack of parking. Independence Tower was the last Class A office building to lease-up during this recent office boom because it offers the least parking.

In regards to the London reference, there was a gentleman from London at a DCDA meeting when The Tremont was being discussed. The issue was the relatively few parking spaces proposed. The gentleman from London went on for a bit about how aggravating it was to live in London and have to park several blocks from his place (because he couldn't find closer street parking) and how he didn't want the residents of Dilworth to suffer the same fate. If that's his concern, then it sounds like we are on the right path :)

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It appears Charlotte is going the other direction. :(

There is a petition out to change TOD zoning to start requiring at least 1 parking space per residential unit. Previously there was no minimum in the TOD zoning districts. Additionally, on-street parking will no longer count toward the parking ratios.

On the posititive, front-loaded garages in TOD zoned townhouses will no longer be allowed.

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It appears Charlotte is going the other direction. :(

There is a petition out to change TOD zoning to start requiring at least 1 parking space per residential unit. Previously there was no minimum in the TOD zoning districts. Additionally, on-street parking will no longer count toward the parking ratios.

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It appears Charlotte is going the other direction. :(

There is a petition out to change TOD zoning to start requiring at least 1 parking space per residential unit. Previously there was no minimum in the TOD zoning districts. Additionally, on-street parking will no longer count toward the parking ratios.

On the posititive, front-loaded garages in TOD zoned townhouses will no longer be allowed.

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There is no minimum for residential units in TOD and a maximum of 1.7 spaces per unit. I believe street spaces (defined as 22' in length) currently count towards the max.

The current max will stay in place, though not subject to the street spaces.

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So if there is max, why the push to establish a minimum? Is there a problem with developers not building in enough parking? I'm having trouble seeing why this change is necessary, and why street parking shouldn't count towards the total.

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Neighborhoods (Dilworth) believe that developers won't provide enough onsite parking and that new condo owners will end up street parking throughout the neighborhood.

They are softening a lot of TOD requirements to try to make them more amenable to adjacent single-family districts.

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Yeah, that makes sense. I mean, 4th Ward is a completely unlivable place. All those cars parked everywhere on the street. I can't even get up to 35mph. My friend in his hybrid escalade can't even park there. And all those people walking around. Its terrible. Its a travesty that shouldn't be repeated.

....Seriously though, I see what you're saying. It still doesn't make sense though. I'd like to see evidence of developers not providing enough parking in this city, or some other proof that this change is warranted.

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....Seriously though, I see what you're saying. It still doesn't make sense though. I'd like to see evidence of developers not providing enough parking in this city, or some other proof that this change is warranted.

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Interestingly, the project has been done for a year now and there are still 10 available units (and they are offering $20,000 - $30,000 flat commissions to any agent that can sell one).

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I lived on Tremont Ave for 3 years. We didn't have a driveway or parking pad and parked on the other side of the street (only one side allowed parking) on the street the whole time. Didn't bother me at all. At times we'd have to park a block or more away, and with the exception of really crappy weather, it never bothered me to stroll a block or two in one of Charlottes beautiful neighborhoods with huge trees! I got really great at parallel parking.

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Developers need to stop doing this. They should knock that money off the prices. Most Realtors with a brain won't touch a property with a bonus like that, it is a big invitation for a lawsuit.

I wish on street parking would still count. I believe that is a great deterrent to driving. I know when I'm in Charleston I almost always walk everywhere, because everything is on-street parking for the most part, and its tough to find a space, the people that live there almost always have their spaces though.

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