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PLUM Also Moves “Modified Parking Requirement (MPR) District” Ordinance

12:50 PM PDT on September 14, 2011

It's almost like the City Council Planning and Land Use Committee (PLUM) was celebrating Park(ing) Day a little early.

Photo: LA Weekly

Minus it's chair, the progressive Ed Reyes, Councilmen Paul Krekorian and Jose Huizar moved not just a bike parking ordinance cheered by bike advocates, but also an ordinance that gives much needed flexibility to the city's car parking requirements for new development. Currently, one set of parking requirements exist for developments based on size and use with no consideration given to the community surrounding the development.

The "Modified Parking Requirement" District (MPR District) ordinance would allow communities and zoning officers to flex ordinances so that a developments  parking fits its community. "Any steps we can take to provide greater flexibility are steps in the right direction," Councilman Paul Krekorian explained.

"The parking concenrs of Van Nuys are not the parking concerns of Venice." "A toolkit, that's all this is," commented Hilary Norton of Fixing Angelenos Stuck in Traffic (FAST) who went on to discuss how a change from the city's current parking ordinance revitalized Eagle Rock.  "We saved neighborhood trips so we could open our community for everyone else."

Councilman Huizar built on Norton's point, "On Colorado Boulevard, we have implemented a "parking credit program," it has allowed new businesses to open."

A (MPR) District would offer seven optional parking requirement modification tools including (1) change of use parking standards, (2) use of a new Parking Reduction Permit, (3) off-site parking within 1500 feet, (4) decreased parking requirements, (5) increased parking requirements, (6) commercial parking credits, and (7) maximum parking limits.

Earlier draft ordinances drew criticism from neighborhood activists, but yesterday the only complaint was about the amount of notification neighborhoods would receive of the applications for the MPR Districts.

Neighborhood activist A ctivist Wendy Sue Rosen testified, "...what you have before you is really a balanced ordinance." Like the bicycle parking ordinance before it, the MPR District Ordinance will undergo final drafting from city staff then head to the Full Council later this fall.

Architect Will Wright has been an outspoken advocate of parking reform and finds this draft ordinance to be a major step in the right direction.  "This really is about making communities more walkable and more livable.  If there's a parking lot between me and where I'm going, that's extra walking I have to do to get where I need to go."

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