How Flexible Parking Requirements Spur Economic Development

A UCLA master's student and Don Shoup found that Santa Monica, CA's flexible parking requirements have led to significant fiscal and urban form benefits. A sample of parcels showed eight-times more sales tax revenue per sq. ft. than a control group.

It’s hard to imagine today, but Santa Monica’s commercial areas – now home to Silicon Beach, tourism and bustling retail – were sleepy, underperforming and shabby just a few decades ago. In an effort to revive its commercial heart in particular, the city approved millions in funding for municipal parking structures in the heart of downtown and implemented new, more flexible parking requirements.

The flexible parking requirements gave developers the ability to opt out of providing the required on-site parking by paying an annual fee of $1.50 per square foot of floor area added for which there was no parking provided. Further, it allowed for intensifying the use in a given building without having to provide the additional parking that would otherwise be required.

A study by UCLA urban planning graduate student Carter Rubin and Professor Don Shoup found that a group of parcels subject to the flexible requirements produces eight times more sales tax revenue per parcel square foot than a similar group of parcels just outside this flexible parking district. Further, significantly more street frontage on the flexible-requirement side has active uses, and much less area dedicated to dead parking space.

Full Story:  How Flexible Parking Requirements Spur Economic Development: Lessons from Santa Monica

Comments

Prepare for the AICP Exam

Join the thousands of students who have utilized the Planetizen AICP* Exam Preparation Class to prepare for the American Planning Association's AICP* exam.
Starting at $199
Planetizen Courses image ad

Planetizen Courses

Advance your career with subscription-based online courses tailored to the urban planning professional.
Starting at $14.95 a month
Book cover of Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Contemporary Debates in Urban Planning

Featuring thought-provoking commentary and insights from some of the leading thinkers and practitioners in the field.
$18.95
Book cover of Unsprawl

Unsprawl: Remixing Spaces as Places

Explore visionary, controversial and ultimately successful strategies for building people-centered places.
Starting at $12.95