Many San Diego businesses would no longer have to provide parking under policy proposal

Many San Diego companies offer parking space to their customers with the goal of reducing their reliance on cars and accelerating efforts to make them more climate-friendly under new controversial proposals. You don’t have to.

The proposal, which the city council will pass next month, removes the parking requirements for businesses in small squares near public transport and near densely populated residential areas.

New businesses in these areas will no longer have to provide parking space to their customers and staff. In addition, existing businesses can quickly turn their parking lots into outdoor dining and additional retail space.

City officials say it makes sense to allow businesses, not city officials, to determine the number of parking lots they need. In particular, more San Diego citizens commute by transportation, biking, and ride-hailing services such as Uber and Lyft.

They also said that with fewer corporate parking lots, more people would commute to work and go to shopping areas by mass transit, bicycle, or on foot, which is the city’s legally binding climate action plan. He said it would help him achieve his goals.

Leaders in many neighborhoods have criticized the proposal as premature, and parking requirements until San Diego has adequate public transport and bike lanes to really allow commuting without a car. Insisted that should be maintained.

Other critics say that policy changes will exacerbate parking shortages in many neighborhoods and business districts, reduce quality of life and frustrate many residents.

The proposal, approved by the Planning Commission last week 4-3, is based on San Diego removing parking requirements for new condominiums and condominiums near public transport two years ago.

However, unlike its proposal, which applies only to future projects, changes in corporate parking policies apply retroactively. Therefore, under this policy, companies can quickly turn their parking lots into other uses.

City officials said it was too early to determine if the 2019 multi-family home parking requirement was successfully removed, but two subsidized housing projects were approved and there was no parking space. Said that it has become.

Both residential and business policies are modeled on similar policies that have eliminated parking requirements in Seattle, Portland, Minneapolis, and Denver.

These policies have helped drive housing construction in these cities by reducing the costs associated with providing parking, but in terms of switching people from cars to transportation, bicycles, or walking. , Brought various results.

San Diego’s new parking policy applies to businesses located near transit hubs, defined as minecart lines, highway bus stops, or areas located within 0.5 miles of two highway bus routes.

A nearby transit must be up and running within 5 years.

The new policy also applies to businesses located in squares and business districts designated as “neighboring commercial districts”. These are small plazas and business districts that serve neighboring residents.

This is in contrast to regional commercial centers such as Fashion Valley Mall, as well as general commercial and industrial areas.

Municipal parking requirements currently vary by city’s business and region, but restaurants and retailers need to offer far more spots than other types of businesses.

Ground parking typically costs $ 25,000 each, so companies that need to provide 20 parkings will have to spend about $ 500,000 on parking. Parking is even more expensive, costing $ 100,000 per space.

This proposal is endorsed by many environmentally-focused business leaders, merchant groups, and organizations.

Angeli Karinog, policy adviser to the San Diego Regional Chamber of Commerce, told the planning committee Thursday: “Parkings are not only expensive to build, but also expensive to maintain.” This makes new business development more affordable and gives the option of providing parking for customers who already have public transportation, jobs and services nearby. “

Noah Harris, a nonprofit climate action campaign, said the policy would encourage people to move away from their cars and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in cities.

“The transport sector accounts for more emissions than the rest of the sector,” Harris told the committee.

Many community leaders have severely criticized the proposal, telling the Commission that it lacks quality transportation and is too unrealistic and offensive for cities built for cars.

“Reducing parking requirements is consistent with improving transportation to balance parking needs and supply over the years,” said Pat Sexton, a member of the North Park Planning Commission. It should be introduced in stages.

Resident Julie Hamilton said San Diego needs more protected bike lanes, more light rail, faster buses, and much more before removing parking requirements. T.

“If you don’t isolate things like parking and include the other aspects needed to get people out of the car, you’ll have problems without solving them,” she said.

Nicole Ueno, a small business owner at Ocean Beach, said he was generally in favor of the policy change, but wanted to apply it to more businesses to avoid an unbalanced competitive environment.

“It seems a bit unfair that some companies in the city are benefiting from this great offer, but others aren’t,” she said.

Wally Wolfek, leader of the city’s 52 community planning group headquarters, said leaders in neighboring areas of the city need more time to analyze their suggestions and collect feedback.

The community planners committee, a comprehensive group, voted 21 to 3 in late May and rejected the proposal because of concerns that the proposal was proceeding too quickly.

City officials said there would be more opportunities for residents to provide feedback on policies, including a June 16 presentation to the city council’s active transport infrastructure committee.

Planning Committee Chairman Bill Hoffman said Thursday that he voted against the proposal only because of the lack of public opinion.

“That’s what I definitely support, but I think the community’s opinion is essential,” he said. “It feels like it’s not completely cooked.”

Commissioner Dennis Otsuji also vetoed for the same reason. Commissioner Ken Marlbrough said he voted “opposed” because city officials have not fully studied how this policy affects ethnically diverse and low-income areas. It was.

Four commissioners who supported the proposal said it would be an important step forward for San Diego.

“It’s also needed for the health of our planet and San Diego,” said Doug Austin Commissioner, who claims to bring San Diego closer to a less car-dependent city in Northern California. “Is it perfect, no, but it’s doing a lot of the right things and going in the right direction.”

Commissioner Kelly Moden said the state is likely to force San Diego to make such changes. AB 1401 passing through the state legislature will force the city to relax its parking requirements.

Commissioner Matthew Boomhower said the proposal was a good first step, as more people explore other ways to move San Diego by eliminating “free parking” in many places. Claims to be.

But he also agrees with some critics that San Diego must accelerate the creation of protected bike paths and other amenities such as “highway” buses in special lanes created by the city. Did.

“When you see people passing by or running faster than they really are on the bus, they motivate you to get out of the car,” he said.

Many San Diego businesses would no longer have to provide parking under policy proposal Source link Many San Diego businesses would no longer have to provide parking under policy proposal

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