Utah Could Eliminate Parking Requirements Near Transit

A proposed state bill would bar cities from requiring parking in areas adjacent to transit stations in an effort to make housing production more affordable and encourage walking and transit use.

1 minute read

January 29, 2023, 11:00 AM PST

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Aerial view of Ogden, Utah with Wasatch Mountains in the background

Manuela Durson / Ogden, Utah

“In what has become a trend in large metro areas, the Utah Legislature is preparing a bill that would prevent cities from requiring parking in new housing and commercial buildings near transit stations.” Tim Fitzpatrick covers the story for the Salt Lake Tribune.

The bill, proposed by Rep. Robert Spendlove, is aimed at creating “more walkable communities, more affordable housing and less government regulation” by reducing the cost of housing construction and allowing the market to allocate space in more effective ways. According to a report from Bike Utah, current parking requirements “often override consumer and business preferences in favor of wasteful and car-centric design, especially in locations well-served by public transit.” 

Some Utah cities are already developing new policies thanks to HB462, a prior state affordability bill that requires cities to create development plans for areas surrounding transit stations. “Vineyard is also relying on another state initiative that allowed the city to create a “Housing, Transit Reinvestment Zone” around its Frontrunner station, which sits in undeveloped land that is expected to have thousands of residents in the coming years.”

As one local developer points out in the article, even if cities eliminate parking requirements, some major banks tie parking requirements to construction loans. But the new bill could pave the way to a shift in priorities that could ripple across industries.

Thursday, January 26, 2023 in The Salt Lake Tribune

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