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New Apartments in Portland: No Parking = No Car? Not So

Turns out if you don't provide the parking, tenants still bring their cars - they just park on the street, according to a limited Portland survey. Neighbors asked city planners for a moratorium on 'parking-less' apartments and adding parking minimums
November 18, 2012, 7am PST | Irvin Dawid
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Elliot Njus writes on the controversy surrounding new apartments built or proposed without parking in Portland.  While "the no-minimum-parking requirement (has) been in place in parts of the city since the 1980s, (it) has expanded since to include all commercial zones and areas within 500 feet of frequent public transit service. "

"At least two dozen apartment complexes, ranging in size from 15 units to more than 80, (were) proposed or built recently without off-street parking."

"Parking has become a uniting issue for upset neighbors", writes Njus. Consequently, a two-hour forum on Nov. 13 was convened by the Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission to allow neighbors to air their grievances about such apartment buildings. They asked for both a moratorium on such buildings, and a return to minimum, off-street parking requirements that are common throughout most of the U.S, with notable exceptions in some dense, transit and service-rich urban areas like Manhattan. 

The neighbor's concerns are borne by "a city-commissioned survey of eight recent developments -- four with parking and four without -- (that) found most residents owned cars regardless of whether their building provided parking, including many who use alternative transportation for their daily commute. Two-thirds of car owners kept their cars parked on the street." 

"Land-use and transportation activists, however, argued that requiring parking would make housing more expensive to build and less affordable to rent while encouraging more use of cars."

Njus writes that while "no final decisions were made at Tuesday's forum, and the commission didn't vote on any proposed policies," they "showed little support for a new minimum parking requirement."  In addition, commission members "said a temporary moratorium on such projects is off the table. "

The article does not mention whether residential parking permit districts that " that reserve curb spaces for (existing) residents and their guests" were suggested as a means to discourage tenants of the parkingless building to not have cars.

Full Story:
Published on Wednesday, November 14, 2012 in The Oregonian
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