Bend Eliminates Parking Minimums

The city is complying with an Oregon state mandate that some cities have challenged in court.

Read Time: 1 minute

January 20, 2023, 8:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Aerial view of Bend, Oregon with river and old mill district

Ahturner / Bend, Oregon

The Bend, Oregon city council voted to adopt the state’s Climate Friendly and Equitable Communities rules, which require many cities to eliminate parking requirements as part of an effort to lower the cost of housing construction, improve affordability, and reduce Oregonians’ reliance on cars. As Barney Lerten reports for KTVZ, some Oregon cities sued to protest the rule.

While some housing advocates praise the move as a positive step toward improving housing affordability and limiting sprawl, some councilmembers worry that Bend isn’t ready for the change, saying the city “doesn’t have the robust public transportation system many others who dropped parking minimums have in place.”

The change removes minimum parking requirements from the city’s development code and adds requirements for electric vehicle charging facilities, but does not prohibit the construction of new parking. Acknowledging concerns about parking availability, Bend Mayor Melanie Kebler said, “Council remains committed to exploring other parking policy reforms that will increase the amount of on-street accessible parking and help us manage the curb in neighborhoods and commercial areas alike.”

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