City council considering sacrificing parking for more housing

City council considering sacrificing parking for more housing

UPDATE: The city council unanimously passed the motion to suspend the parking minimum that was laid out more than 60 years ago.

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With an annual growth rate of 1 percent, Spokane has been battling a housing crisis for years.

“We need to do whatever we can regulatory in order to encourage people to build more housing,” declared City Council President Ben Stuckart.

For Stuckart, getting rid of a minimum parking regulation for every housing unit is a step in the right direction. It will clearly be cheaper to produce apartments and take an estimated $200 a month off each unit.

“In Buffalo, New York, recently, about a year ago, got rid of minimum parking requirements throughout their whole city,” explained Stuckart. “I’m just proposing this in certain areas where we want density and we have businesses and people can walk.”

The proposed areas that would no longer have minimum parking restrictions are near downtown and areas that have recently been developed – including the University district, East Sprague and Monroe St. The biggest question facing the parking repeal is whether Spokane has the infrastructure to support car-less commuters.

“We just passed a historically large transit measure,” claimed the City Council President. “We’re going to have high speed transit going in and out of Sprague. We’re going to have high speed transit on Monroe. We’re going to have high speed transit up and down Monroe – so we’ve chosen the areas that can handle this.”

As far as political support. – Stuckart believes this partial repeal could satisfy both sides of the aisle.

“I think environmentalists will be for it because it’s encouraging multimodule use whether that’s walking, biking or using public transit, and I also think if you think government is bad and hate regulations we should be looking for regulations that don’t make sense.”