In the last year, there has been an increase in development of new apartment buildings going up along main street corridors, including projects without off-street parking. The increase in this construction is due in part to historically low vacancy rates in Portland, especially in Portland’s inner neighborhoods. Community members are concerned about the number of projects without parking, as well as other aspects of new apartments such as the buildings’ height, design and density.
Responding to community concerns, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability completed a series of studies related to new apartments and parking. Results of these studies were presented to the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC) and City Council, who directed staff to develop a near-term proposal to the zoning code parking regulations. BPS released the proposal on January 11, 2013. The proposal includes six amendments to the Portland Zoning Code, including:
- For new apartment buildings with more than 40 units, requiring one parking space for every four dwelling units in areas where no parking is currently required. In areas where parking is currently required, retain a one parking space per dwelling unit requirement. Plan districts with different parking minimums, such as the Central City or Northwest plan districts, also retain their current requirements.
- Allowing a reduction in parking requirements for designated carshare spaces.
- Setting parking exceptions for all new development (e.g., smaller buildings with 40 or fewer units, offices and commercial) based on a fixed map of frequent transit lines rather than potentially fluctuating bus schedules.
- Allowing parking for apartments to be located in existing parking lots within 300 feet of the project site.
- Requiring one onsite loading space for buildings with more than 40 dwelling units.
- Defining size requirements for long-term (resident use) bike parking.
The PSC will hold a public hearing on the parking proposal on March 12, 2013, at 12:30 p.m. at 1900 SW 4th Avenue in Room 2500 A. Public testimony is welcome or may be sent to the PSC in advance at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about new apartments and parking, please contact Matt Wickstrom at 503-823-2834 or email@example.com.