Nashville Sets Downtown Parking Maximums

Nashville is the latest city to enact a substantive change to the parking requirements set by the city’s zoning code—doing away with parking minimums and setting parking maximums in the city’s Urban Zoning Overlay.

2 minute read

November 20, 2022, 11:00 AM PST

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell

The Nashville City Council approved a bill that will replace the city’s downtown parking minimums with parking maximums in the zoning code. The city is the latest to implement changes to its parking regulations in a wave of reform—Cambridge, Ann Arbor, Cincinnati, California, and Oregon have approved historic parking reforms in the second half of 2023.

Previously in Nashville, “property owners and developers seeking permits were required to provide a minimum number of on-site parking spaces. Under the new ordinance, those old parking space minimums have become the new maximum number of spaces allowed for developments on urban-zoned land,” according to an article by Cassandra Stephenson reporting on the change.

“The changes impact Nashville's "Urban Zoning Overlay," an area stretching from East Nashville to Interstate 440 and from Hillwood to portions of South Nashville. Most of the land in this area lies within a quarter mile of bus service lines offered by WeGo, Nashville's public transit system,” adds Stephenson.

The ordinance was approved with the support of politicians and planners. Some opposition was reported among councilmembers who say that the city’s public transit system is not robust enough to reduce parking in downtown. Some residents opposed the change out of concern about spillover parking in nearby residential neighborhoods.

A lot more detail about the ordinance and the surrounding political debate are included at the link below.

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