Long Beach’s State Senator Lowenthal Takes on Parking Requirements

3_2_09_lowenthal.jpgLast week, State Senator Alan Lowenthal (D-Long Beach) introduced legislation that takes aim at how California's municipalities think about parking and parking requirements.  What S.B. 518 is missing in co-sponsors it makes up for in chutzpah.  If enacted, the legislation would require that every municipality in the state earn at least "20 points" in parking reforms.  These reforms range from eliminating the city's parking requirement for development which is worth 20 points to requiring that employers offer transit passes en lieu of parking worth only 2 points.

Locally, this bill would have an amazing impact on transportation planning if it were to become law.  All of a sudden the city would be forced to think of building transit-oriented development without having at least two car spaces for every residential unit or setting aside part of its parking fees for bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure. 

However, getting this legislation passed and signed is going to be a heavy lift.  Despite the many positive impacts that parking reform would have for transportation network and environment by reducing V.M.T., there is bound to be a lot of pro-automobile forces pushing back against the legislation and so far there has been almost sign of a campaign promoting it.  As a matter of fact, the only place I found this legislation mentioned was Infosnack, a blog originating out of Washington, D.C.  In other words, seeing this legislation passed into law may be a heavy lift; but then most things worth doing are.

For a full list of all the ways a municipality can earn points, read on after the jump.

MEASURE                                  |POINTS |
+-----------------------------------------+-------+
|PARKING REQUIREMENTS AND ZONING          |       |
+-----------------------------------------+-------+
|Eliminate minimum parking requirements   |       |
|citywide or within the unincorporated    |       |
|county.                                  |20     |
+-----------------------------------------+-------+
|Reduce average minimum parking           |       |
|requirements for all general office,     |       |
|general retail, general commercial, and  |       |
|similar development citywide or within   |       |
|the unincorporated county to:            |       |
|Less than 3 spaces per 1,000 square feet |2      |
|Less than 2 spaces per 1,000 square feet |5      |
|Less than 1 space per 1,000 square feet  |10     |
+-----------------------------------------+-------+
|Eliminate minimum parking requirements   |       |
|for projects in transit intensive areas. |10     |
+-----------------------------------------+-------+
|Establish maximum parking restrictions   |       |
|for all general office, general retail,  |       |
|general commercial, and similar          |       |
|development at or below the following:   |       |
|3 spaces per 1,000 square feet           |10     |
|2 spaces per 1,000 square feet           |15     |
|1 space per 1,000 square feet            |20     |
+-----------------------------------------+-------+
|Establish commercial parking maximums of |       |
|2 or fewer spaces per 1,000 sq. feet     |       |
|citywide or within the unincorporated    |       |
|county.                                  |10     |
+-----------------------------------------+-------+
|Establish commercial parking maximums of |       |
|2 or fewer spaces per 1,000 sq. feet in  |       |
|transit intensive areas.                 |5      |
+-----------------------------------------+-------+
|Establish residential parking maximums   |       |
|of 1 or fewer spaces per unit in transit |       |
|intensive areas.                         |5      |
+-----------------------------------------+-------+
|Establish design controls requiring      |       |
|parking to be underground or ""wrapped'' |       |
|in active uses on building frontages     |       |
|facing public streets.                   |2      |
+-----------------------------------------+-------+
|Remove restrictions against residential  |       |
|tandem parking, including eliminating    |       |
|requirements that parking must be        |       |
|independently accessible to count toward |       |
|minimum residential parking requirement, |       |
|if any.                                  |2      |
+-----------------------------------------+-------+
|Remove restrictions against mechanized   |       |
|and mechanical ""lift'' parking,         |       |
|including counting mechanized spaces     |       |
|toward minimum requirement, if any.      |2      |
+-----------------------------------------+-------+
|Establish a shared parking ordinance and |       |
|requirements for interconnection of      |       |
|parking in all commercial areas.         |2      |
+-----------------------------------------+-------+
|Remove or increase allowable density     |       |
|limits and floor area ratios (FAR),      |       |
|allowing infill development on existing  |       |
|parking lots.                            |10     |
+-----------------------------------------+-------+
|PARKING AND       TRANSPORTATION DEMAND  |       |
|MANAGEMENT                               |       |
+-----------------------------------------+-------+
|Adopt an ordinance to require that any   |       |
|lease for a residential dwelling unit    |       |
|within a housing development of five or  |       |
|more units, if a parking space or spaces |       |
|are provided in connection with the      |       |
|lease, include a separate unbundled      |       |
|charge for the parking space or spaces   |       |
|that reflects the full cost of the       |       |
|parking space or spaces but is not less  |       |
|than the number of parking spaces        |       |
|multiplied by the cost of a monthly      |       |
|transit pass within the city, county, or |       |
|city and county and that the lessee may  |       |
|opt out of the parking charge by         |       |
|foregoing use of the parking space or    |       |
|spaces.                                  |5      |
+-----------------------------------------+-------+
|Adopt an ordinance to require that any   |       |
|lease for commercial space in a complex  |       |
|of five or more commercial tenants       |       |
|include a separate unbundled charge for  |       |
|the parking space or spaces that         |       |
|reflects the full cost of the parking    |       |
|space or spaces but is not less than     |       |
|the number of parking spaces multiplied  |       |
|by the cost of a monthly transit pass    |       |
|within the city, county, or city and     |       |
|county and that the lessee may opt out   |       |
|of the parking charge by foregoing use   |       |
|of the parking space or spaces.          |5      |
+-----------------------------------------+-------+
|Adopt an ordinance to require that any   |       |
|new employment contract under which the  |       |
|employer provides a parking space within |       |
|the city, county, or city and county     |       |
|include a nonreimbursable charge to the  |       |
|employee that reflects the full cost of  |       |
|the parking space but is not less than   |       |
|the cost of a monthly transit pass       |       |
|within the city, county, or city and     |       |
|county and that the employee may opt out |       |
|of by foregoing use of the parking space.|5      |
+-----------------------------------------+-------+
|Adopt an ordinance to require employers  |       |
|to offer transit passes to all           |       |
|employees, including full time, part     |       |
|time, and seasonal employees, on a       |       |
|pretax basis and certify                 |       |
|compliance upon application for a new or |       |
|renewal business license.                |2      |
+-----------------------------------------+-------+
|PARKING MANAGEMENT                       |       |
+-----------------------------------------+-------+
|Adopt an ordinance to set on-street      |       |
|parking meter and public parking lot and |       |
|garage rates to achieve an 85% target    |       |
|occupancy rate during hours when         |       |
|adjacent businesses are open or employ   |       |
|demand-responsive rates that vary        |       |
|throughout the day to achieve an 85%     |       |
|target occupancy rate.                   |10     |
+-----------------------------------------+-------+
|Establish a Parking Benefit District,    |       |
|whereby all or a portion of new public   |       |
|parking revenues are directed toward     |       |
|improvements within the district where   |       |
|the revenue was raised.                  |5      |
+-----------------------------------------+-------+
|Establish a Residential Parking Benefit  |       |
|District, whereby a limited number of    |       |
|commuters may pay to park       in an    |       |
|otherwise restricted Residential Parking |       |
|Permit area, with the net revenue        |       |
|directed toward improvements within the  |       |
|district where the revenue was raised.   |5      |
+-----------------------------------------+-------+
|Install parking meters in areas with     |       |
|parking occupancy rates of greater than  |       |
|85% and establish meter rates such that  |       |
|parking availability improves to 85% or  |       |
|better.                                  |2      |
+-----------------------------------------+-------+
|PARKING REVENUE                          |       |
+-----------------------------------------+-------+
|Adopt an ordinance to direct at least    |       |
|50% of net public parking revenues to    |       |
|programs that reduce parking demand,     |       |
|including, but not limited to, public    |       |
|transit, transportation demand           |       |
|management, or bicycle and pedestrian    |       |
|infrastructure and promotion.            |3      |
+-----------------------------------------+-------+
|Adopt a parking sales tax or use fee     |       |
|upon parkers, with at       least 85% of |       |
|resulting net revenue directed at        |       |
|programs that reduce parking demand,     |       |
|including, but not limited to, public    |       |
|transit, transportation demand           |       |
|management, or bicycle and pedestrian    |       |
|infrastructure and promotion.            |5      |
+-----------------------------------------+-------+
|Adopt a parking impact fee or property   |       |
|assessment on parking owners, with at    |       |
|least 85% of resulting net revenue       |       |
|directed at programs that reduce parking |       |
|demand, including, but not limited to,   |       |
|public transit, transportation demand    |       |
|management, or bicycle and pedestrian    |       |
|infrastructure and promotion.            |5      |
+-----------------------------------------+-------+