Culver City Council meeting on June 27, 2022 voted three to two to change the old concept of ‘parking minimum’ – the number of parking space required to build any new development or remodel an old one – with a ‘parking maximum’ – no more than a certain number of parking spaces permitted by zoning. The vote is simply a very small step forward on a long path, as the parking will not change until the zoning is updated later this year.
The current code requires one parking space per 350 square feet of office space, and the updated law will allow for one parking space per 500 square feet of office space. Based on a sample of a 132,500 office development, this translates to a parking minimum of 265 spaces, a 40% reduction from the current standard.
Looking at ways to foster less parking, the city report included Metro Passes supported by employers, bike share subsidies, and subsidized ride shares using vans or carpools as part of the focus. The staff report also cited Transportation Demand Management, a practice currently being used that includes multi-modal infrastructure, travel subsidies and financial incentives, and automobile trip consolidation.
Public comment was divided between pro and con, with Debbie Weiss giving voice to the challenges involved for businesses, and Marcie Braun asking “Have you been to Hollywood? Have you paid the $30 it costs to just park your car there?”
Community activist Michelle Weiner asked “Is this council going to look to the future? I’m asking you to be forward thinking, and not just look at the challenges we are facing today.”
Bubba Fish, introducing himself as the Vice Chair of the Committee on Housing and Homelessness, noted that the Planning Commission had also recommended going with the plan for parking maximums. “The committee [on Housing and Homelessness] also voted for this recommendation – we cannot address our housing crisis without putting the needs of people ahead of cars… Many other cities – San Diego, Minneapolis, New York City- have all abolished parking minimums.”
The vote was three to two, with Mayor Dr. Daniel Lee, and council members Alex Fisch and Yasmine Imani McMorrin all voting in favor.