POLL: Is the City Council’s Tentative Endorsement of Relaxed Parking Conditions a Good Idea?

The Council voted 11-1 Tuesday to ease parking requirements for businesses and new or renovated buildings.

The Los Angeles City Council tentatively approved an ordinance Tuesday that could have far-reaching implications for businesses in Highland Park as well as certain buildings in the neighborhood.

The ordinance will allow for relaxed parking requirements for new or renovated buildings in designated areas of the city, a move aimed at spurring development and creating more density around transit hubs.   

The council voted 11-1 in favor of the ordinance, which allows for the creation of new parking districts, in which developers, building owners and existing businesses can use a menu of seven different parking requirements.   

The lack of a unanimous vote triggered a second reading scheduled on Aug. 21, requiring a simple majority vote of the 15-member council.   

Under the ordinance, landlords of apartment buildings could satisfy per-unit parking requirements by making agreements for tenants to use parking spaces that are within 1,500 feet of the building.   

The City Council will have to approve any district that proposes to use decreased parking and agree that transportation alternatives or other infrastructure improvements negate the need for increased parking. If there is a lack of transit options in a proposed district or a likelihood that a project will lead to spillover parking problems on adjacent residential areas, the council can require more parking than is permitted under existing zoning code.   

Additionally, developers can obtain commercial parking credits if they can demonstrate under-utilized parking in the district.   

Councilmember Paul Koretz, who represents Century, City, Sherman Oaks, Westwood, Bel Air, Cheviot Hills, Fairfax and Pico-Robertson, cast the dissenting vote.   

“My constituents have expressed their concerns that this will be too flexible in terms of the ability to reduce parking, especially in a district that is already much too short in parking,'' Koretz said.   

Councilmember Ed Reyes, who shepherded the parking ordinance through the approval process, said the districts must come from the communities they would affect.   

“It does not come from above down—it only gets triggered if it comes from you,'' Reyes said. “We will have a rigorous discussion every time this appears on our radar.''   

Creating one of the districts would require the signatures of at least 75 percent of the owners or lessees of property in the proposed district, and the zones have to be at least two blocks or five acres in area.   

The plan was supported by the Central City Association, which advocates for businesses and development downtown, and Fixing Angelenos Stuck in Traffic, a nonprofit group that supports an enhanced transit system.   

FAST spokesperson Evelyn Jerome Alexander told the council the ordinance "will improve the walkability of our commercial and mixed-use areas and benefit the entire community by bringing these areas to life.''

Take our poll about whether or not you think this proposed ordinance will improve parking issues in Eagle Rock if it becomes law—and share with other readers in the Comments section the rationale behind your views.


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Marilyn Robertson August 17, 2012 at 06:01 PM
I think it's a good idea and, BTW, how about some longer parking (2 hours) and shorter overall times (i.e. free after 6 pm) for York Blvd? I know people who are excited about the new venues but won't go there because of the ridiculously short parking times on the meters.
Richard Risemberg August 17, 2012 at 08:13 PM
It's a great idea--too much parking wastes land and money, restrains development, and induces more driving. We should have parking maximums instead of minimums. More bicycle parking and more frequent transit service are better for businesses in the long run and will better support a thriving local economy.
Peter Bedard August 19, 2012 at 06:00 PM
From experience, I think this is a bad idea. This is similar to what was done in another neighborhood I lived in not far from here and developers where able to come in and build a structure with 100 residents and only 35 parking spaces. All the spill over parking now floods the streets and parking is a nightmare for the entire neighborhood.
nonoise August 19, 2012 at 07:32 PM
Refaxed parking is good for business. The overparking in your neighborhood, Peter, is because city councilmembers overdeveloped the neighborhood. Don't blame relaxed parking, blame city councilmembers for overdevelopment.
nonoise August 19, 2012 at 07:34 PM
Reyes does not even give free parking to his community. It is only paid parking meters at his field office in Lincoln Heights. Taxpayers should at least get free parking to see their city councilmember. That makes no sense.


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