Manhattan Core Parking Testimony

This morning, we testified in the Council Chambers favor of the Department of City Planning’s proposed text changes on Manhattan Core parking policies. You can read our full testimony here:

The Zoning Committee of the Citizens Housing & Planning Council (CHPC) has reviewed the proposed text submitted by the Department of City Planning to revise the zoning regulations governing off-street parking in the Manhattan Core.

We fully support these revisions and applaud the vision of the Department of City Planning to re-examine regulations that were initiated 30 years ago, study how they are working in practice today, eradicate references to antiquated requirements, and to establish our new land use priorities. We are in favor of the Department’s efforts to continue this approach to parking policies throughout the city.

As the Manhattan Core parking study showed, the current regulations do not reflect the way parking is being used today. Allowing all parking in new accessory facilities to be made available to the public will allow accessory parking to be used as a shared resource and will better support the needs of a 24 hour city with differing needs throughout the day and the week. The increase in floor area exemptions for automated parking, and the increased flexibility for rental vehicle parking, will encourage the prevalence of smart technologies that can offer extra efficiencies in the future.

We also believe that the new special permit findings and new special permits for economic generators will allow for a more sophisticated, rational decision-making process for increases over as of right parking maximums.

Of the other revisions, the CHPC Zoning Committee is particular grateful for the eradication of references to minimum parking requirements for certain forms of affordable housing. The high costs of building structured parking cannot be easily passed on to the residents of affordable units, therefore minimum requirements act as a financial burden on affordable and mixed income buildings. Every attempt to facilitate the development of affordable housing units should be fully embraced and the new clarity on this topic is warmly welcomed. We also fully support the revision that makes it easier for the reduction or removal of pre‐1982 required parking.

Finally, we would like to commend the Department of City Planning for their diligent and extensive consultation process on these revisions. They presented, listened, amended, presented and listened again to a multitude of voices and we believe that this technique makes for sound planning policies.

 

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