Action Alert: Submit testimony to the Planning and Sustainability Commission by Friday, May 18th. You can do this easily online at this link. We encourage you to support Portland for Everyone’s suggested modifications for the Residential Infill Project and to strongly support eliminating minimum parking requirements in all residential zones.
For several years, Portland’s planners have been crafting a proposal to encourage more housing to be built in our “single-family” neighborhoods. The general goal of the proposal is to discourage the 1:1 replacement of smaller, often more affordable, single-family homes with very large and expensive homes, often called “McMansions.” Instead, the city would like to see more housing created in these neighborhoods in the form of accessory dwelling units (ADUs), and internal conversions of large older homes into duplexes or triplexes.
The plan hopes to achieve these goals by allowing homeowners and developers in “single-family zones” to build additional ADUs and allowing duplexes mid-block (currently they are restricted to corners). There are a lot of aspects to the proposal and you can read a detailed analysis and suggested improvements from our coalition partners at Portland for Everyone.
It is critical to push for a complete elimination of residential parking requirements if this plan is to succeed. Even though the plan recommends waiving parking requirements in many cases, many homes will never be built if shelter for cars continues to be given a priority over housing for humans.
As an example, a garage can be converted to an ADU without providing an additional off-street parking stall for the ADU, but in most cases the homeowner will still be required to maintain at least one off-street stall! This is even more ridiculous when one considers that an off-street stall requires a curb-cut which removes one public on-street parking stall from circulation.
Maintaining our current arbitrary parking requirements will lead to more traffic, less safe streets, more pollution, less housing, more expensive housing, and more trees removed. It’s a bad policy that benefits the few at the expense of the many.
For some inspiration, here is the testimony I gave at the Planning and Sustainability Commission hearing on May 8th.
Send in testimony now (certainly before May 18th) to ask the planning commission to support Portland for Everyone’s recommendations for the Residential Infill Project and, particularly, to recommend eliminating minimum parking requirements.
Tami Mathews says
Grandparents live here too! We need the car to drive because we can’t pedal our grandkids around or carry them to mass transit! What shortsighted planning. The developers just want to maximize their profits without consideration for our livability. Btw we fit 2 cars in our drive and 3 when guests come.
Cars aren’t going away, sure. No one is proposing to take away your car, but ultimately, we can’t have every household with 2+ cars because we don’t have enough roads or space to fit them given population projection. To assume that everyone will have 2+ cars forever is shortsighted planning as well.
We should use the parking we have as efficiently as possible. People who want to use public resources that are contested should expect to pay to do so.
Also, there’s tons of new options already here and on the way that allow residents and visitors to use cars when they need them and to share them when they aren’t using them.
I implore you to imagine that maybe 20% of people in this city aren’t like yourself and maybe don’t need a car available 24/7. Those 20% of people COULD give up their car and then there’d be plenty of parking for everyone.
Paula Cadiente says
Some people have to drive and I’m one of them. I know Portland is a bike town but try not to give those who need to drive a hard time. I think this is a stupid idea and have thought that since those horrible box apartments have sprung up in Division.