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.