A proposal to build a new Ballard apartment building without on-site parking — due to a “parking flexibility area” — raised some questions after our story last week.
This designation is part of proposed legislation introduced by former mayor Tim Burgess called the Neighborhood Parking Reform. “This ordinance implements a new flexible use parking category,” Burgess explained, “which will expand access to off-street parking in neighborhoods across the city by opening up unused and underutilized parking spaces to new users, and establishes guidelines for the provisions of new flexible parking.”
Among the many changes is no longer requiring developers inside parking flexibility areas to build “a parking minimum” for its planned residents. “Off-street parking is expensive to construct, and unnecessary parking can significantly increase the cost of new housing.” Burgess wrote.
At the same time, the legislation would allow building owners to make parking available for public use when their facilities have excess capacity.
So where are these flexibility areas? Here’s the proposed map:
As you can see with the areas in dark grey, most of central Ballard and the retail core of Crown Hill — both are designated Urban Centers — would no longer require a parking minimum for new developments, with the exception of hospitals. The areas in the orange would reduce the parking minimum by 50% if “frequent transit” is within .25 miles away.
The proposal would also “update bicycle parking requirements” and “allow parking of up to 3 car share vehicles in the in front of buildings on private property.”
This morning the Seattle City Council’s planning and land use committee is beginning to review the proposed ordinance. You can see all the documentation with specific proposals and the full map.