Legislation hoped to help reduce housing costs in Seattle by allowing so-called “shared parking,” giving developers fewer reasons to create large parking structures, and opening more buildings to offer parking on the open market will be taken up by the Seattle City Council’s planning and land use committee starting Wednesday morning.
CHS wrote about the legislation from the office of then-Mayor Tim Burgess in November and its potential for helping renters. Parking costs “make up 10-20% of typical construction projects,” according to the city.
The legislation package — hopefully titled Neighborhood Parking Reform — would require the “unbundling of parking space rental from multi-family dwelling unit rental and lease agreements in new and existing structures 10 dwelling units or greater in size, and new commercial lease agreements in new and existing structures 10,000 square feet or greater in size.”
It also includes proposals for clarifying which areas of the city have “frequent transit service” and should have lower requirements for off-street parking. The change would allow “flexibility in route timing and total length of daily service by updating transit measurement criteria to be more consistent with King County Metro’s and the City’s transit planning, and by simplifying provisions.” The proposals also includes changes to city land use code amendments and, ambitiously, State Environmental Policy Act parking policies to make the frequent transit service zones more clearly defined.
Meanwhile, the bulleted list of additional legislation “highlights” is a long one:
- Create a new use category, “flexible-use parking,” to allow for greater sharing of parking in certain zones, including in: Lowrise 3, Midrise, Highrise, most commercial, and industrial zones; and in mixed-use development garages in light rail station areas.
- Allow park-and-ride facilities within garages as a permitted use in certain zones, including in Lowrise 3, Midrise, Highrise, most commercial, and industrial zones
- Clarify and update parking provisions by allowing off-site parking to be within onequarter mile (1,320 feet) of the uses served, up from 800 feet.
- Clarify and reduce the parking requirements for rent and income-restricted housing,
including for the disabled.
- Add a new maximum parking limit for flexible-use parking.
- Delete a special exception allowing more parking than the maximum parking limit in
- Provide for reduced parking minimum requirements for public uses/institutions (nonMajor) in frequent transit service areas.
- Allow required parking amounts to be reduced in any zone, except Downtown zones, to a level needed to serve the parking demand for proposed uses as demonstrated by a parking demand study performed by a licensed professional engineer.
- Apply parking stall size requirements to parking for residential and live-work uses whether parking is required or not.
And lest you think this is all about the war on cars, bicyclists will also be facing updated parking rules:
- Update bicycle parking requirements and performance standards, and consolidate the Downtown bicycle parking requirements with requirements for the rest of the city