The Zoning Commission has taken proposed action to approve modifications to the regulations regarding required vehicle parking, access and layout, to reflect policy goals for the District as well as current needs of workers and residents. Overall, the proposals are intended to streamline and clarify the parking requirements, make them more attuned to the physical characteristics of our city, make them more responsive to the current parking demands and expectations. Many revisions to the original proposals were made in response the large number of comments received so far from ANCs and the public, while the Department of Transportation provided additional valuable input.
The proposed new regulations are located in Subtitle C Chapter 700 Vehicle Parking, and include the following.
- Generally, parking requirements would be based on the use and proximity to public transit, rather than the more confusing combination of zone, use and other characteristics in the current regulations.
- Required parking for some uses will stay the same but will change (generally be reduced) for other uses. Here’s a quick summary of the proposed requirements for some of the major uses: (click table to enlarge)
- As in the current parking regulations, there is no parking maximum proposed, other than that a by-right surface parking lot is limited to 100,000 sq.ft. maximum.
- The current regulations allow limited parking reduction for proximity to Metro stations. The proposed regulations build on this by permitting a 50% reduction in parking requirements for commercial or mixed used buildings that are within ½ mile of a metro station entrance, or 1/4 mile from a streetcar line or priority bus corridor (as specified in Section 702), provided that the property is on a street on which participation in a District Residential Parking Permit program is not permitted, or is otherwise exempted from a District Residential Parking Permit program. A map showing the areas where a parking reduction would be permitted is below.
- Shared parking among uses is permitted, so long as written agreement specifies time in use doesn’t conflict/overlap as they are considered required parking for each use.
- Locating parking on another site in close proximity (600 feet) to the development would also be permitted, provided the agreements to do so are in place and the parking is not required for a use on that site.
- Car-sharing spaces are permitted in mixed use districts and would count towards required parking.
- For projects with more than 20 required parking spaces, parking provided significantly in excess of the requirement (2 or more times the required parking) would result in mitigation including additional bicycle parking spaces, the planting of trees in public spaces, the provision of additional electric car charge stations, and a higher Green Area Ratio requirement.
- Relief from parking requirements would be by special exception.
- Screening and landscaping requirements for surface parking lots have already been implemented, including the planting of canopy trees.