February 8th, 2013 | by AARON MESH News | Posted In: Transportation, City Hall, Housing, PDX News

Planning Bureau Recommends No More No-Parking Apartments Bigger Than 40 Units

lede_blockbusters_3846ILLUSTRATION: nickstokesdesign.com

 Last month, Portland City Council told the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability to draft new zoning rules for the apartments without on-site parking that have sparked ire across the eastern quadrants of Portland.

Today, the planning bureau released its suggested new requirements.

The short version: Most new apartments larger than 40 units would be required to provide one parking space per four units.

"We thought that to go after a target of the bigger buildings," says City Planner Joe Zehnder. "Once you get to a certain size, it's reasonable to be concerned about the impact it's going to have on the surrounding streets. Our objective is to create sort of a backstop."

But that parking doesn't have to be on-site: Developers can meet the new requirement by using existing parking lots within 300 feet of apartment buildings.

The suggested zoning changes also contain a boon for car-sharing companies like Zipcar and Car2Go. For every parking space a developer contracts to those companies, it can cut two other required parking spaces. Car sharing will be allowing take up a quarter of parking, the document says.

Zehnder says the bureau reached that decision after its research showed apartment dwellers continued to own cars mostly for weekend and evening use, and kept them parked on the streets during the day.

"It's opening the door to say if you're actively promoting convenient car-share programs, you can reduce your parking requirements," Zehnder says. "Maybe these car share programs can meet more of your evening and weekend car needs."

The planning bureau's findings won't have any effect on the most hated buildings, including a planned 81-unit apartment complex with no parking on Southeast Division Street. The bureau says it will continue to monitor the results of that already-approved building on the neighborhood.

The bureau says it will also continue to research permitted street parking for neighborhoods around streets like Division. But it offers no concrete plan.  

The new requirements will have a public hearing before the Planning and Sustainability Commission on March 12.

 
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