By Maggie Angst : eastbaytimes – excerpt
In their continuing effort to transition San Jose into a climate-friendly metropolis, city officials are proposing to shed decades-old zoning rules that fueled suburban sprawl…
And while it’s not alone with “mandatory parking minimums,” San Jose has required developers and business owners to provide on-site parking more than any other major city in the Bay Area and the state, according to a survey by this news organization of policy rules in Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, Oakland and Berkeley…
San Francisco and San Diego eliminated parking minimums altogether in recent years, and both Berkeley and Sacramento made plans in January to do the same. In 2016, Oakland removed parking requirements in areas closest to major transit hubs and instead set a cap on the maximum amount of parking allowed in those areas. And although Los Angeles has yet to go that far, it requires fewer spaces per development than San Jose.
How do changes in such regulations translate? A 100-unit apartment complex in downtown San Jose must provide at least 100 parking spaces — or one spot per unit — unless developers agree to certain transportation improvements or public transit incentives. In downtown Oakland, an apartment of that size has no minimum parking requirements and is actually prohibited from providing more than 1.25 spaces per unit.
Or, whereas in San Jose a 200-square-foot cafe in most areas outside of downtown must provide at least five on-site parking spaces, such an eatery of that size in Los Angeles would be required to provide just two spaces, according to city zoning codes.
But unlike some of those cities, San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo points out, San Jose doesn’t have nearly the same level of transit infrastructure. So rather than mirroring their policies, San Jose’s tend to align more with those of Silicon Valley’s suburban cities…
Next month, the San Jose planning department, which is partnering with Bay Area nonprofits SPUR and Greenbelt Alliance, will begin community outreach on the proposed parking reforms. The City Council is then expected to make a decision sometime this fall.
“This is going to be a big shift for the city of San Jose,” Brilliot said. “But I think one thing that people need to understand is that more parking actually means more cars on the street and therefore more traffic problems.”
At the same time, a new state bill, AB 1401, could ban cities across the state from imposing minimum parking requirements on new apartments and shops within a half-mile of train stations and bus routes.
State bills like AB 1401, are part of the building opportunity package being pushed in Sacramento. intend to override local parking policies and remove the zoning for single family homes from the state, at a time when the public is seeking more single family homes and more parking opportunities.