Planners Backtrack on Reform of Parking Standards

A bill in California that would reduce parking minimums in transit-oriented areas has drawn opposition from an unlikely group: the American Planning Association.
June 19, 2012, 1pm PDT | Josh Stephens
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"Ever since the 2005 publication of UCLA professor Don Shoup's book, The High Cost of Free Parking, the relaxation of parking minimums has been seen by many planners as the next best thing to manufacturing new land. Yet, the introduction of a bill that would enact a modest page from the Shoup playbook has roused opposition from a surprising source: the American Planning Association," writes Josh Stephens.

"'The primary issue is that it's a one-size fits all statewide standard," said APA California Vice President for Policy and Legislation David Snow. "While APA supports the concept that this bill puts forward .from APA's perspective, a uniform standard from the state that doesn't take into account local considerations isn't the appropriate way forward.'"

APA California also contends that, by imposing lower parking requirements, cities would be less inclined to support transit and to support higher, denser infill development. APA California acknowledges that many cities want to "grow up and not out" and calls such a strategy "responsible." In that sense, the APA and Infill Builders Association would typically be considered natural allies.

Streetsblog Los Angeles has reprinted a letter authored by Shoup himself discussing, "his reasoning for supporting the bill and displeasure that the Cal APA would oppose the bill without consulting its membership."

Thanks to Josh Stephens

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Published on Monday, June 18, 2012 in California Planning & Development Report
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