Changing The Car Culture Of Los Angeles

<p>City planners -- hoping to get reluctant Angelenos out of their cars -- have put forth a proposal that would waive all parking requirements for developers whose buildings offered suitable transportation alternatives.</p>
September 4, 2007, 8am PDT | Christian Madera | @cpmadera
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"At an August 9 Planning Commission meeting, [veteran city planner Thomas Rothmann] rolled out his latest of 10 proposed changes to the Municipal Code to address traffic and parking problems. Under current city code, developers may petition the powerful but obscure city zoning administrator, Michael LoGrande, to be excused from constructing parking for commercial and industrial buildings if city-mandated employee parking is shown to be unnecessary, and if viable parking alternatives are demonstrated.

But now, Rothmann proposes a move into uncharted territory, by pushing to allow such parking waivers for residential buildings. Under his plan, developers could win a "100 percent parking reduction" at condos and apartments citywide.

If approved by the 15-member City Council (no date for a vote has been set) and signed by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, Rothmann's antiparking rule, the so-called Parking Reduction Amendment, would let developers erect high-density dwellings and not build a single parking space as long as LoGrande feels residents have enough access to bicycle racks, van pools, bus stops or other "alternatives" to their cars."

"Rothmann enthuses: "We're just taking what's already there and making it easier" for developers to cut parking and, he hopes, use the leftover space to build ever-denser apartments and condos."

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Published on Monday, September 3, 2007 in LA Weekly
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