WASHINGTON, November 20, 2013 — Yesterday the DC Zoning Commission heard testimony from city residents regarding the minimum parking requirements in the District.
The Zoning Commission is considering a reduction in the minimum number of parking spaces that are mandated near housing units in the city. The parking requirements have resulted in a skyrocketing cost of living in the city. It is estimated that underground parking spot costs between $30,000 and $50,000 per spot. Those who want to see the minimum reduced claim that this cost is passed onto residents, who either A) have more expensive apartments to cover the cost of parking construction or B) have fewer apartments to choose from to keep the mandated number of parking spaces down.
At the Zoning Commission meeting, 40 city residents spoke on the issue of parking minimums (33 in favor of reducing minimums, 7 against). Among the 7 against was John Townsend, who argued that parking is a major problem in DC and that the 1.8 million parking tickets that District Police handed out last year are “a hidden tax on people who want to do one thing: to enjoy the nation’s capital.”
Opponents of reduction also point out that there is little evidence linking less parking construction to a lower housing cost. They hope that increasing required parking in the city would bring more permanent residents back to the city, which could decrease the amount of traffic, which commuters into the city deal with every day.
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