Included in a long list of revisions recently reviewed and approved by the City Council is an item about required parking minimums for downtown developers, and here’s why it’s a big deal.
Parking minimums are ordinances set by a municipality that require buildings to provide a certain number of parking spaces to be built. The inconvenient side effects of parking minimums are that developments are often more expensive since they are required to build a larger parking deck, and outside of larger events, much of the parking is already unused.
A more modern belief in urban circles is that parking minimums can actually devalue our urban land by pushing out more desirable uses like housing and retail and emphasizing the automobile over other modes of transportation.
The City Planning Division presented the suggestion to remove parking minimums in Orlando’s Central Business District in May 2022, where it was approved and later approved by the City Council at its latest meeting on August 15.
“It is also an important aspect of our planning as the central city becomes more of a multi-modal environment where walking and other modes of transport are encouraged rather than automobiles. One potential opportunity with this change is that some forms of housing that do not require parking (micro-units, shared apartments, etc.) could potentially lower the overall cost of housing in the Central Business District and allow renters to live a car – free lifestyle. Additionally, tenants can use the city’s parking facilities if they really need to rent a space.”
-ASHLEY PAPAGNI, PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICER, OFFICE OF THE MAYOR, CITY OF ORLANDO
The city will also modify the boundaries for the downtown parking area by dividing it into two separate zones. They will also exempt themselves from a requirement that developers pay into a fund when they offer more than the maximum number of spaces allowed.
Also due for a renewal are changes in standards for driveways, dimensions of parking spaces, design and review requirements for parking garages,