Oregon’s Under-the-Radar Parking Revolution

Thanks to parking reforms at the state level, Oregon cities are rapidly eliminating parking requirements, paving the way for more affordable housing construction and higher density.

1 minute read

July 7, 2023, 7:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

Aerial view of strip mall with diagonal parking spots in Coquille, Oregon

Street parking in Coquille, Oregon. | mdurson / Adobe Stock

Minimum parking requirements are quietly being eliminated in cities across Oregon, writes Catie Gould for the Sightline Institute.

Normally, parking is one of the most contentious issues for local governments. Any relaxation of parking mandates—rules that prescribe a certain minimum number of parking spaces for any new home or business—is a political hot potato. But new state parking rules have taken that status quo off the table and turned what could be a big debate into a boring compliance exercise.

Cities that want to retain parking minimums under the new state law would have to comply with a complex series of regulations, making the choice to eliminate parking mandates an easy one for many communities. “Now over a million Oregonians live in communities where parking is fully voluntary. More cities are poised to join them the next year, after using a deadline extension granted by the state.”

The domino effect is aided by another law passed in early 2022 that removed parking mandates on developments near transit corridors and stations, which, in some cities, cover the majority of lots. Fully eliminating parking minimums also means cities don’t need to adjust requirements when transit service changes, making it easier for property owners to build ADUs and other ‘missing middle housing’ that is often made too costly by the addition of parking.

Friday, June 30, 2023 in Sightline

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