Norman, Oklahoma Eliminates Parking Mandates

The city made a subtle, one-word change that frees up developers to build parking based on actual need and eliminates costly unnecessary parking.

1 minute read

September 14, 2023, 8:00 AM PDT

By Diana Ionescu @aworkoffiction

View of small-town street with brick buildings and cars parked in diagonal parking with string lights going across street in Cleveland County, Oklahoma.

Roberto / Adobe Stock

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.”

Wednesday, September 13, 2023 in Next City

Chicago Intercity Rail

Amtrak Ramping Up Infrastructure Projects

Thanks to federal funding from the 2021 infrastructure act, the agency plans to triple its investment in infrastructure improvements and new routes in the next two years.

September 25, 2023 - Smart Cities Dive

Google maps street view of San Francisco alleyway.

Ending Downtown San Francisco’s ‘Doom Loop’

A new public space project offers an ambitious vision—so why is the city implementing it at such a small scale?

September 26, 2023 - Fast Company

Google street view of yellow "End Freeway 1/4 mile" sign on 90 freeway in Los Angeles, California.

Proposal Would Transform L.A.’s ‘Freeway to Nowhere’ Into Park, Housing

A never-completed freeway segment could see new life as a mixed-use development with housing, commercial space, and one of the county’s largest parks.

September 26, 2023 - Los Angeles Times

Aerial view of coastal town of Santa Cruz, California.

Santa Cruz Transit Looks to Expand

A small transit agency in Northern California is making ambitious expansion plans.

5 hours ago - Human Transit

View of dirt trail between shrubs with downtown Los Angeles skyline in background.

Advancing Park Equity Through Needs Assessments

City Parks Alliance, in partnership with Prevention Institute, recently hosted a webinar about park equity and collaboration, focusing on the Los Angeles Countywide Parks Needs Assessment.

6 hours ago - City Parks Alliance

Wood-frame houses under construction.

California Impact Fees Reach Supreme Court

An upcoming ruling could have a major impact on building and development in California and around the country.

7 hours ago - San Francisco Chronicle

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.