Parking reforms, such as eliminating minimum parking requirements, are important policy actions to help ensure an adequate and affordable housing supply in growing cities, like Portland. But parking reforms won’t have much impact on housing supply if a city’s zoning discourages enough homes from being built in the first place.
Portland has been developing a proposal, the Residential Infill Project (RIP) based on the recommendations of the Residential Infill Project Stakeholder Advisory Committee (RIPSAC) for several years and comments on the discussion draft are due Thursday, November 30th 2017.
This proposal is opposed by those who claim the policy will lead to widespread demolitions and change the “character” of Portland’s single family neighborhoods. In reality, the proposal reduces incentives to replace existing homes with “McMansions” and is not nearly aggressive enough to solve our housing problem, let alone dramatically remake Portland’s single-family neighborhoods.
In addition, unless the current minimum parking requirements for single family zones are eliminated, several of the housing options (duplexes, triplexes, and internal conversions) will be difficult to execute on many lots due to lack of space for required parking. On other lots, removal of trees and/or open space would be needed to make space for required car parking.
We encourage you to take action to support this project and advocate for parking reforms as a necessary enhancement.
What can you do?
Send an email (TODAY, deadline is 11/30/2017) to email@example.com
Generally the proposal is a step in the right direction, but we think the project proposal would be much stronger if it would:
- Eliminate minimum parking requirements to preserve trees and remove barriers to duplexes, triplexes, and internal conversion.
- Allow the “housing opportunity” provisions in all areas of the city to improve equity outcomes and encourage the creation of additional walking scale neighborhoods.
- Make the affordable housing incentives workable to increase the likelihood that they will be utilized.
- Allow internal conversion of existing houses into multiple units in all areas, and provide additional incentives for housing preservation.
- Create a true cottage cluster code that will encourage the development of smaller, more affordable homes.
For more information, review the call to action by Portland for Everyone as well as this article describing the project. The city has a page with more details on the project and timelines.