Richmond Poised to Repeal Parking Minimums

The city’s planning commission recommended that the city council eliminate parking mandates that limit housing production and increase housing costs.

1 minute read

April 19, 2023, 5:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

The Planning Commission in Richmond, Virginia unanimously approved a proposal to eliminate minimum parking requirements in the city, reports Em Holter in the Richmond Times-Dispatch, joining a growing national movement. “The hope is that, with developers no longer tasked with constructing lots or parking garages, there will be more room to build additional housing units, ultimately increasing the city’s available housing stock.”

Minimum parking requirements, often decided based on unrealistic or arbitrary guidelines, can drive up the cost of housing construction, promote sprawl, and reduce the land available for green spaces. “Often, developers are required to build more parking spaces than there are occupants, which leads to parking lots sitting empty and parking decks left with their higher levels bare.”

Supporters of the proposal say the change would let developers build in accordance with market demand. In Richmond, it seems unlikely that getting rid of parking minimums would lead to a parking shortage. According to Holter, “Over the past five years, the city has approved 50 large-scale residential, commercial and mixed-use projects. In total, the city required 4,789 spaces. The developers provided 12,646.” 

Tuesday, April 18, 2023 in Richmond Times-Dispatch

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