This chapter estimates how minimum parking requirements increase the cost of constructing housing, office buildings, and shopping centers. It also explains proposed legislation to limit how much parking cities can require in transit-rich districts.
I assembled data on the cost of constructing office buildings, shopping centers, and parking spaces in eight American cities, and data on the minimum parking requirements in these cities. I then combined the parking construction costs with the number of required parking spaces for each land use to estimate how the minimum parking requirements increase development costs for office buildings and shopping centers.
Minimum parking requirements increase the cost of constructing a shopping center by up to 67 percent if the parking is in an aboveground structure and by up to 93 percent if the parking is underground.
In suburban Seattle, parking requirements force developers to spend between $10,000 and $14,000 per dwelling to provide unused parking spaces.
On a typical construction site in Los Angeles, parking requirements reduce the number of units in an apartment building by 13 percent.
To mitigate the high costs imposed by minimum parking requirements, California is considering legislation to set an upper limit on how much parking cities can require in transit-rich districts: no more than one space per dwelling unit or two spaces per 1,000 square feet (93 square meters) of commercial space. This legislation would limit parking requirements, but it would not limit the parking supply because developers can always provide more than the required number of spaces if they think demand justifies the added cost.
Value of the chapter
This chapter measures how minimum parking requirements increase the cost of housing, office buildings, and shopping centers in order to subsidize parking. Urban historians often say that cars have changed the city, but urban planning has also changed the city to favor cars.
Shoup, D. (2014), "The High Cost of Minimum Parking Requirements", Parking Issues and Policies (Transport and Sustainability, Vol. 5), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Leeds, pp. 87-113. https://doi.org/10.1108/S2044-994120140000005011
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