Tomorrow, the City Council will consider a series of proposals to increase parking requirements for new apartment buildings.
As proposed, the changes will require buildings of more than 40 units to provide one parking space for every four units. They will also require loading spaces for large buildings, allow parking spaces to be provided off-site, and allow developers the option of providing fewer spaces in exchange for offering carshare and bikeshare facilities.
We have heard feedback from neighbors, developers, community groups, and others about this proposal. Some think it goes too far, while others think it doesn't go far enough. There are many factors to consider: our Climate Action Plan goals, our community's desire for ground floor retail, the additional cost to developers, the different impacts of large and small buildings, the cumulative impact of clusters of new development, and more.
Ultimately, Nick agreed that the proposal didn't go far enough. Tomorrow, he will propose an amendment which would require parking for buildings of more than 30 units, rather than 40, and would ask larger buildings to provide proportionally more parking than small. For buildings of 31-40 units, the requirement would be one space for every five units. For buildings of 41-50 units, it would be one space for every four units. Larger buildings with 51 or more units, would have to provide one space for every three units.
We believe this option is a thoughtful and balanced approach. It will help preserve the livability of our neighborhoods through a period of great change while staying faithful to our Climate Action Plan goals and our desire to promote active ground floor retail on main streets.
Nick is also concerned about the lack of affordable options in Portland's growing neighborhoods. As part of the Comprehensive Plan, he will be asking staff to research and develop recommendations for bonuses and other incentives to encourage developers to offer affordable homes. As our city grows, it's our responsibility to make sure our neighborhoods remain open to everyone.
The Council session tomorrow begins at 2 pm and will include time for community members to address Council with their questions, concerns, and ideas. We look forward to a lively discussion of this important issue.