San Jose Eliminates Parking Minimums

The California city is the largest in the country to abolish parking requirements, joining a bevy of other localities that are shifting to less car-oriented development.

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December 8, 2022, 12:00 PM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction


San Jose, California

Sundry Photography / Shutterstock

San Jose, California is the newest and largest U.S. city to abolish minimum parking requirements for new developments, easing the way for new housing construction and lowering the cost of building in the formerly car-oriented city. Reporting for the Mercury News, Eliyahu Kamisher explains that the city’s parking requirements, mostly unchanged since 1965, have been blamed for driving up housing costs, with parking spots costing upwards of $50,000 apiece to build.

Similar to other cities, “The new policy does not prevent developers from building parking lots but will allow them to ‘rightsize’ parking for new developments as they see fit. It also does not remove any current parking.”

With a population of 1 million people, San Jose is the largest U.S. city to remove parking minimums. “It is an especially big turnaround for a largely suburban community that has historically required businesses and developers to provide more on-site parking than any other major city in the state, according to a Bay Area News Group survey.” Now, new rules will require developers to include bicycle parking—“including one bike for every two lanes at bowling alleys and at least one bicycle spot for every 800 square feet at restaurants.”

Wednesday, December 7, 2022 in The Mercury News

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