Parking: Where are we headed?
On May 7, 2019, Edmonton City Council dove into the topic of parking standards and regulations. Representatives from CHBA – Edmonton Region were on hand to speak to council to support a move to an open option for providing parking.
Click here for the letter CHBA - ER provided to Mayor and Council in advance of the City’s Urban Planning Committee meeting.
The residential construction industry has raised the issues of parking standards during many zoning bylaw amendment discussions throughout the years. However, the discussions were always a zone by zone, or amendment by amendment which never created a sufficient conversation about onsite parking.
Industry has asked many times: what is the evidence for the parking requirements?
Decades ago, when the parking provisions were first, housing in Edmonton was relatively simple. There were single family houses, walk-up apartments, and a few other types of housing. The landscape has changed and the range of combinations is beyond anything originally thought of when off street parking provisions were first developed. Today:
- There are more forms of housing than we have names for;
- The region’s demographics are increasingly complex; and
- Calculations of parking needs around detailed land use definitions of a building has become more complex.
After completing nearly two years of research studies on the matter, City of Edmonton came to a decision - that the traditional approach to parking requirements is flawed. The evidence highlights that there is no relationship between what the Zoning Bylaw requires for onsite parking and what actual land uses’ need for parking. Studies included:
- Comprehensive Review of Parking Regulations in Zoning Bylaw 12800
- History of Parking Requirements
- Comprehensive Parking Study Final Report
- Assessment of Approaches
- Other Regulatory Considerations
Discussions with the City
CHBA – ER and a number of builder members were brought together to meet with the City planners leading this initiative. Through these discussions there was clear expression of industry support for the open option parking concept.
In these meetings, everyone fully understood that going to an open parking option does not mean that parking will not be provided.
Members have consistently stressed that they take great care in ensuring that their projects’ parking matches the needs of their clients. Parking is a key factor in the design and planning for any housing project. Ensuring there is the right balance between providing for the consumer’s needs and wants, overbuilding unnecessary parking is on the mind of all builders when they designing a project.
Below is a draft of the next steps:
That Admin Advance the implementation of approach 2 as described in the May 7, 2019 UFCSD report CR_6707 and return with a report to committee, including:
- a comprehensive review of on-street parking implications
- further research to determine significant predictors of all types of parking demand and how these predictors affect on-site demand
- development of implementation scenarios, including draft bylaw amendments, that considers a one-step implementation and a phased and/or transitional approach and different zoning categories (eg downtown/core, commercial/industrial, core commercial, core residential, suburban residential, institutional, event areas, etc) including the impact of each
- implementation of the other regulatory amendments as outlined in attachment 6
Due: October 1, 2019
- That Administration prepare a report that explores high level policy options for developer payments in lieu of parking requirements to contribute to public transit and/or high density parking that facilitates transit options and provide a recommended option if applicable.
Due: October 1, 2019.
CHBA-ER industry committees will continue to be engaged and liaison with the City to ensure members’ interests are heard.
Thank you to Syndey Bond from Effect Home Builders and Adil Kodian from Rohit Communities
for presenting on behalf of CHBA-ER at the Urban Planning Committee meeting on May 7, 2019.