Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Parking Is Expensive

Requiring that units have parking increases per unit costs in high land price areas significantly. The focus on the affordability of new construction as opposed to affordability generally is a bit misplaced, but parking takes up a lot of space - and therefore a lot of land - and requiring that any housing units be built with parking increases the costs a lot.

“A big part of what I hear is that the limitations or compatibility restrictions, based on what you’re building next to, keeps down the amount of units you can get,” says Nicole Joslin, chair of the Austin Housing Coalition, a consortium of affordable-housing developers. “I hear a lot from people that parking requirements that are over what they would naturally need to provide for the community can take up a lot of cost and space in that development.”

And some elements of the proposal, like eliminating parking requirements for certain projects, would serve other planning goals as well.

“We’re already talking about how we stop mandating the overbuild of parking as part of our larger zoning rewrite … I think that affordable housing is just one of the many goals that get hurt when we require too much parking.” Casar says.

Parking requirements are bad for other reasons (note we're talking requirements here, not even suggesting banning parking if developers want to build it), but affordability is one.

Here in my urban hellhole the NIMBYish neighbors, when consulted about projects they want, say:

1) Single family
2) More parking
3) Affordable

Absent massive subsidies, ... you can't do it, my friends.