A bill wending its way through the California Legislature could suddenly make a lot more new housing economically feasible.
Known as AB 1401, the legislation would abolish local parking requirements for new residential and commercial developments near bus or train stops. It applies to counties with more than 600,000 residents and cities with more than 75,000 people.
The bill does not prohibit or restrict parking. It merely deregulates it, allowing developers to decide what works best for a given project. It opens up the possibility, for example, of providing parking in an off-site garage or lot. It permits tandem parking to save space or subsidized shared ride services. It doesn’t prescribe a one-size-fits-all solution to how buildings can best serve the people who use them, and it allows flexibility as transportation options evolve.
Most homeowners and tenants want some sort of parking, but local mandates can be extreme — and extremely expensive. Twenty-one California towns even require more than three parking places for a three-bedroom single-family home.