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HCoFP: the great planning disaster

Skipping some stuff because lazy.

* "The annual family income necessary to qualify for a mortgage was $67,000 for a house without parking, and $76,000 for one with parking. As a result, 24 percent more San Francisco households could afford to buy houses if they did not include the required on-site parking space. The parking requirement therefore significantly reduces housing affordability in San Francisco."
* San Francisco requires one off-street parking space for each new dwelling unit.
** Which is kind of insane, given the public transit system.

* One theme in the stuff I skipped over was that parking requirements become the dominant constraint on land-use, more than set-backs and other zoning laws. Otherwise legal buildings are prohibited by parking. I think I did mention that Houston famously doesn't have zoning laws -- but does have parking requirements. So you can build whatever wherever -- as long as it's not too dense.
** This is probably a factor in San Francisco too. One space per dwelling unit? *My* flat didn't have a parking space -- but it was an old converted 'Victorian'. If Shoup is right, then those picturesque wall-to-wall Victorians aren't just protected and blocking any taller development, they're themselves illegal to build now! ...this probably explains the Sunset District, an expanse of "1.5 story" homes, humping their garages. And that's working at it: commonly, the cheapest land use is to build a one-story building on 40% of the land, leaving the other 60% as parking, since you're often required to have 50% more land devoted to parking than usage.
* Another note is that such requirements often just turn public parking into private parking. Garages or driveways need curb cuts, so a parking space on the curb is taken away and turned into a garage space. Whether you wanted it or not!
* He cites some studies showing how land value and property tax could go up with less stringent parking requirements, e.g. if a Southern California office building needed 2.5 spaces per 1000 sqft (still ample) instead of 3.8, values/revenue could go up 40-50%. Cities are starving themselves with sloppy requirements.

* A UCLA project cost $139,000 per apartment and $21,000 per parking space. $118 million for 1362 bedrooms and $30 million for 1430 parking spaces. 1.7 spaces per apartment, so $35,000 or 25% added to the cost of an apartment. And UCLA is exempt from regulations; a regular project would need 1.5 spaces per efficiency and 2.5 spaces per two-bedroom. 92 sqft of parking per 100 (not 1000) sqft of housing, and an extra $44,600 or 32% per apartment.

* A Palo Alto Single Room Occupancy (very low income housing) got a parking reduction but parking was still adding 38% to the cost of housing where many of the residents can't afford cars. The project proposed a separate parking rent of $100/month, allowing the housing rent to be lower, but was denied. The housing commission also considered requiring residents to work at nearby businesses, or to not have cars -- anything other than simply charging for parking.
** The effect of required parking is bigger for smaller apartments, obviously; at 260 sqft the SRO units were smaller than the parking space needed... Conversely, a developer will want to build bigger and more expensive units, as those will have less of a parking 'surcharge'.

* Cities are more concerned about providing free housing to cars than adequate housing to people. Let no car be homeless! Unlike the actual homeless.

* For old buildings, parking requirements often prevent a change of use: the old use is grandfathered in, but any new use is prohibited due to lack of parking, leading to paralysis or to vacancy and urban blight. More suicide by planning.

* Many businesses destroyed in the 1992 LA riots are still dead; they were old narrow lots, wall to wall, and it's impossible to rebuild a business there that fulfills the parking requirements. What can be built, like corner mini-malls, destroy the streetscape.

* For a downtown concert hall, LA requires 50x more spaces than San Francisco allows as a maximum.

* Downtown parking requirements are doubly deadly. They reduce the density which is the source of a downtown's appeal, and non-shared parking per business reduces the natural incentive to walk around: you drive to a business, drive to the next one, etc. vs. parking in a garage (or getting off transit!) and walking around.

* Fred Kent: "Parking is important where the place isn't important. In a place like Faneuil Hall in Boston it's amazing how far people are willing to walk. In a dull place, you want a parking space right in front of where you're going." "Minimum parking requirements assure that a place will be uninteresting."
* Jane Kay: "The more parking, the less place. The more place, the less parking."

* LA is unusually dense for being car-centric and unusually car-centric for being (kinda) dense.

* Parking requirements redistribute wealth from poor renters (fewer cars) to richer homeowners.

* If we had market parking, but cities used sales tax revenue to compensate motorists for all their parking expenses, everyone would see that was grotesque.

* WRI estimates that motorists receive a subsidy of $85 billion a year in free parking at malls, factories, and offices. That's like $250 per American, more per motorist.

* In Tokyo, residents must show that they own or have leased an off-street parking space before they can register an automobile. It's their responsibility to provide for their car, not everyone else's.

See the comment count unavailable DW comments at http://mindstalk.dreamwidth.org/353100.html#comments

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( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
resonant
Mar. 3rd, 2013 07:35 am (UTC)
Disturbing but interesting.
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )

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