City Councilman Paul Koretz Wednesday introduced a resolution in opposition to state legislation that would stop local governments from imposing or enforcing minimum parking requirements on developments near public transit, which supporters say would help make housing more affordable but which Koretz said could perpetuate the development of market-rate and luxury housing units.
AB 1401, which was introduced by Assemblywoman Laura Friedman, D-Glendale, was previously endorsed by another member of the Los Angeles City Council, Nithya Raman.
The bill would change the California Government Code to stop local governments from imposing parking requirements if the property is located within half-mile walking distance of public transit, which is defined as a high-quality transit corridor or a major transit stop.
“While the elimination of parking minimums may reduce overall constructions costs, often times projects near high quality transit corridors include only a limited number of affordable units and instead provide housing for high-income tenants who use the transit services provided far less frequently,” the proposed resolution reads.
“The city of Los Angeles currently has limited policy tools to require the construction of a significant percentage of affordable units, and as such AB 1401 would simply perpetuate the status quo — the unnecessary construction of market rate and luxury housing units, and thereby creating an added financial windfall for developers, exacerbating traffic and parking congestion in residential communities and areas intended to be served by high quality transit, and leaving ridership numbers in these areas low,” Koretz wrote.
Raman voiced her support for the bill on April 6, saying it was a “win-win” for Los Angeles, citing its potential to decrease the cost of housing units and reduce Angelenos’ dependence on vehicles.
According to Meea Kang, an affordable housing developer who currently serves as a director for the Council of Infill Builders, on-site minimum parking requirements can cost between $30,000 and $75,000 per space, which is passed onto the developers, renters and homebuyers.
“These decades-old minimum parking requirements make it cost-prohibitive for new development to be feasible,” she said in a virtual discussion about the bill with Friedman and Raman on April 6.
Friedman argues that the more parking is added to a city, the more difficult it is for people to live without a vehicle because residences are spaced farther apart to accommodate parking lots.
“Cars and parking have a huge environmental cost, as the largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in California is our transportation sector. That’s the one area where California has been going in the wrong direction with more and more emissions,” Friedman said.
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