Small Lot Parking Exemption Vote – Councilman Wayne New

Wed, Apr 5, 2017

At Monday night’s City Council meeting we held a discussion and vote on an amendment sponsored by Councilman Jolon Clark to Councilman Albus Brooks’ bill that defined new parking requirements for 6,250 SF small lots with mixed use zoning.  The present zoning, the original bill and the amendment being proposed for a parking exemption are as follows:
 
Present Small Lot Zoning with Mixed Use Zoning – No parking required
 
Councilman Albus Brooks‘ Small Lot Parking Exemption Bill – the first 3 stories of any new building located a ½ mile from a rail transit station platform or ¼ mile from a high frequency transit corridor would be exempt from parking requirements; the first 2 stories of any new building would be exempt from parking requirements beyond the ½- and ¼- mile transit boundaries.
 
Councilman Jolon Clark’s Small Lot Parking Exemption Amendment – reduces the parking exemption from the first 3 stories to the first 2 stories of any new building ½ mile from a rail transit station platform or ¼ mile from a high frequency transit corridor; reduces the parking exemption from 2 floors to only the ground floor of any new building beyond the ½- and ¼- mile transit boundaries.
Nearly 700 residents participated in our recent District 10 Small Lot Parking Exemption survey. Some highlights from the survey include:
 
  • Do you support the present zoning code that allows mixed use small lots of 6,250 SF to be developed without any parking?
    Yes: 9%; No: 85%; Unsure: 6%
  • Do you agree with Councilman Brooks’ proposed change in small lot parking exemption?
    Yes: 10%; No: 83%; Unsure: 7%
  • Do you agree with Councilman Clark’s proposed change in small lot parking exemption?
    Yes: 29%; No: 55%; Unsure:16%
At the end of the survey people were asked to share their comments and feedback on the issue of parking exemptions for small lots. Reading through the comments, I noticed some common themes, many of which I agreed with. Here are just a couple of the great comments that were received:
 
  • “It’s great to think that people will get by without a car and use public transportation, however Coloradans like to go to the mountains, camp, ski, snowmobile, etc. and that requires a vehicle.”
  • “Until Denver has a GOOD mass transit system, all new buildings should require adequate parking.”
This survey made it clear that parking remains an important issue for residents of District 10. Even though 85% of the survey participants felt that no exemptions should be allowed, this is not the question before Council. If the original bill or the amendment did not pass we would default to the original zoning that does not require any parking on small lots. Therefore, Councilman Clark’s amendment, which provided the least parking exemption, was preferred. On Monday, I voted for Councilman Clark’s amendment which was passed by City Council with a 7 to 6 vote. A final vote and public hearing on this issue will be held in May.
 

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.  

Thanks,

Wayne

wayne.new@denvergov.org,

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