Capital New York:
...even as views on parking have changed dramatically, zoning mandates have remained steady in much of New York. The city still requires most outer borough and upper-Manhattan builders to provide approximately one off-street parking space for every two units of housing.
Some planners say it is high time these dusty, worn-out regulations are replaced.
“These rules are from a time when people thought it was the government’s role to encourage driving,” said Juliette Michaelson, vice president for strategy at the Regional Plan Association. “In a time when we have a huge demand for housing, but are trying to reduce driving and therefore parking, eliminating a minimum parking requirement could be a big deal.”
Mayor Bill de Blasio's administration has taken a first, big step toward changing those zoning requirements. As part of a new set of zoning overhauls introduced last month, the city proposed doing away with parking requirements for new low-income, inclusionary and affordable senior housing units that are within a half-mile of mass transit. It would also reduce those parking requirements on mixed-income housing where it would benefit the construction of affordable units.
The latter provision, which would happen on a case-by-case basis, might prove the most promising to developers. It’s not as broad a change as many have sought, but could be more valuable than it sounds.
De Blasio’s affordable housing plan, which calls for the creation of 80,000 affordable units and 160,000 market-rate units, will include rezonings in 15 different neighborhoods where all new development will be required to include affordable apartments.
It’s possible the parking requirements could be lifted for hundreds of projects. And where affordable won’t be required, the possibility of reducing parking could serve as an incentive to build inclusionary housing—much the way the city’s voluntarily inclusionary program gives bonus floor area for affordable units.