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Parking requirements ended for affordable-housing development in Boston

Mayor Wu today signed an ordinance proposed by the City Council that will let developers put up new buildings with a high percentage of affordable units without having to provide any off-street parking.

The measure applies to proposals for which at least 60% of the units are to be rented or sold as what the city considers affordable.

The goal is to try to encourage more affordable development by eliminating a key expense: Building a garage to satisfy the parking minimums required in most areas by the city zoning code.

The proposal might not have saved a Roslindale Square apartment building rejected by the Zoning Board of Appeal for not providing any parking, because while its developers said they were hoping to win state grants and tax breaks to make all 31 units affordable, the proposal submitted to the board only contained assurances that roughly 40% of the units would definitely be rented that way.

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Comments


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Voting closed 57

This sounds like people who may be fortunate to get one of these "affordable" units (another story altogether) aren't worthy of the availability of onsite/private parking. I guess they just shouldn't own a motor vehicle.
You know, take the T, it's reliable and one might get some kind of a show from a flasher or other who knows what. Have a great day one and all!

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Voting closed 27

Very good reason to look at the supply and demand of on-street parking and pricing it properly to reflect its true value.

Handing out parking permits for free (I know I know, the insurance thing) while using on street parking minimums as a concern to push back on desperately needed housing projects seems counterproductive and honestly, a bad faith argument.

And for those with affordable units, you could argue there are reasons for subsidized rates.

But lets not pretend that the real concern here is for people in affordable units being able to own cars.

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Voting closed 47

Of course a parking spot brings value to a property. But if a developer is not required to provide parking, it simply leaves those affordable units without the luxury to own a car. The market is going to decide if regular units will have parking right?

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Voting closed 18

Again the issue is the supply and demand of on street parking, its needs to be managed properly and priced properly.

I mean you said it yourself, owning a car is a luxury. For some, its essential to be able to work and I understand that. But doesn't the current free for all seem a little inequitable?

The market isn't the deciding factor, its just the physics of our limited road space.

You're right, it has been discussed and seemed to cross over with pushback on portions of the T being made free:

https://www.universalhub.com/comment/865545#comment-865545

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Voting closed 24

Is free for all is inequitable or unfair? Those aren't mutually subjective concepts are they?

The city could do several things:

-all street parking is free

-all street parking costs $x to everyone regardless of resident status

-street parking is free to residents only

-street parking costs $x for residents and no parking for non residents (or non residents pay)

-hybrid (first car costs $x, 2nd car costs $x+100, 3rd car costs $x+200) or just no 2nd car permit ever.

-street parking free for subsidized units with no parking spots (everyone else pays or doesn't get a spot.

Equity and Fairness are subjective again right?

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Voting closed 14

And they all make sense, honestly no snark from me there.

I guess it also needs to balance with the other aspects that parking can cause inequitable impacts. Housing and transit in particular, how parking minimums can be weaponized by NIMBYs and just the simple fact that the status quo isn't cutting it.

And its gotta vary by neighborhood, just from my experiences dating someone that lived in Southie and struggling to find on street parking vs. where I am now in Brighton, which honestly doesn't seem to be overwhelmed. But of course thats anecdotal!

It does all seem subjective as you said but I'm not kidding myself in thinking that it'll be fair and equitable for all, we aren't going to be building a utopia that escapes what other cities deal with.

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Voting closed 14

Double post, sorry Adam!

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Voting closed 7

The new requirements just say that there isn't a minimum number of parking spaces that must be built. But it doesn't prohibit developers from building parking if they choose to do so.

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Voting closed 21

Those minimums were there for a reason. Oh yeah let’s trust developers to build adequate parking

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Voting closed 6

Under the current system, non-profit affordable housing developers are required to either build parking that never gets used or jump through hoops to seek a variance from the city to build an amount of parking that makes more sense for their project. The latter also puts them in a position to have to defend themselves from court challenges from neighbors, which further adds to the cost. This allows them to build more units more quickly and cheaply which means more people get access to badly needed housing. The one thing this almost certainly will NOT do is deprive genuinely needy people of access to parking they would otherwise have had.

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Voting closed 15

This doesn't bother me. I am an adult who will adapt or fail.

Look at Michelle Wu removing a government regulation. Keep that up, lady, you might actually be a Mayor.

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Voting closed 23

Honest question, curious about your thoughts on what, if any, rates should be applied to on street car storage.

Thanks!

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Voting closed 12

I'm assuming Will wants "parking" on roads to be a private entity where supply and demand dictates who can park or not park. No such thing as a "public" road where Will lives.

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Voting closed 10

A registration fee which well outpaces my share of the real cost of maintaining a registry, and excise taxes, because the sales tax on the initial purchase was not enough to pay do-nothing licensing boards and for cops to stare into construction holes.

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Voting closed 9

The merits of the licensing boards and police forces is a little deflective, lets stick to the car storage thing.

Does that registration fee really reflect the true cost of storing your private vehicle on public roads? And maintaining those roads? Plowing? Cleaning?

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Voting closed 21

I'm curious how you would propose to charge for street parking. (I have no position on this and am trying to understand both sides.)

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Voting closed 10

Not Spin, but I think $100/mo per resident street parking sticker is reasonable. That’s <$4 bucks a day.

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Voting closed 12

I rented in Roslindale and although the property had a huge driveway, the landlord did not allow us to use it. The street we lived on was heavily congested and we would sometimes have to park the next street over in the winter with babies and groceries. If I was paying $100 a month for that I’d be pissed.

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Voting closed 14

"The street we lived on was heavily congested and we would sometimes have to park the next street over in the winter with babies and groceries."

One of the benefits of paying $100 is that it wouldn't be so heavily congested.

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Voting closed 16

And do lack the raw data of how many spots the city has, how many permits are currently active but I do appreciate the genuine question.

I recall recently someone from WCVB or some news station tweeting about paying I think $40 for an hour and half parking in the Seaport at a private garage? I might be a little off on specifics.

Pete honestly laid out some solid points here that I fully agree with:
https://www.universalhub.com/comment/870710#comment-870710

And I see someone below me mentioning $100 a month/$4 a day. I guess its gotta be somewhere between $50-100 and reflect the convenience off on street vs. private parking, the supply of the neighborhood and the potential for subsidizing those that would be burdened by it.

But really my major point is just a rethinking of what parking means because when the on street parking impacts are used to push back against things like housing or bus/bike lanes, it becomes a disservice to improvements that general population should benefit from.

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Voting closed 12

*

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Voting closed 7

Welcome to Boston, park in Worcester.

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Voting closed 7