The city made a subtle, one-word change that frees up developers to build parking based on actual need and eliminates costly unnecessary parking.
A one-word change unanimously approved by the city council in Norman, Oklahoma could have a major impact on excess parking and construction costs in the city, writes Seairra Sheppard in Next City.
“Basically, all we did in the ordinance was change the word ‘required’ to ‘recommended,’” explained Councilman Matt Peacock.
According to Peacock, “Oklahoma is the only state in the nation that requires its cities to be funded by sales tax alone.” Making the connection to parking, Peacock added, “So when there are massive empty parking lots that are separating buildings by acres, all I see is a lost sales tax base.”
After the change, “Because the parking laws are now recommended instead of required, developers hold a bigger responsibility of tuning in to city needs and proposing an appropriate amount of parking for their business,” Sheppard writes. As Peacock notes, “Parking should be a function of the market, not a function of the building code.”
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