Streetcar to Reduce Residential Parking Requirements, Increase Housing Affordability

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The Cincinnati Planning Commission has approved a 50% parking reduction for residences within 600 feet of a streetcar stop. Typically, residential units require 1 or 2 parking spaces, but for those new units that will be built along the streetcar line, the reduction in required parking will make housing more affordable.

The high cost of complying with parking requirements forces developers to either build only very high end projects or ask the city for tax rebates and credits to subsidize  the construction of parking structures.

Building an above ground parking structure is very expensive, to the tune of $15,000 to 18,000 per space. An underground garage can be even higher, around $25,000. If a condo has two required parking spaces that adds up to $50,000 per unit. This may not be a problem for a $1,000,000 dollar condo. The parking would only by 5% of the total cost. However this is a problem for the $200,000 condo, parking would account for 25% of the cost.

Consider this hypothetical scenario. A husband and wife want to buy a condo downtown, own two cars, and have a budget of $200,000. Parking costs the developer $50,000; $150,000 covers the cost of the actual unit. If you have a streetcar, you can get rid of one of those parking spaces. That would drop the $200,000 condo to $175,000. In addition that household would only have to pay upkeep on one automobile, saving around $5,000 a year (gas, insurance, wear and tear, car payments) or $420 dollars a month that could be put towards the mortgage.

The couple can either have a $175,000 condo of the same size and an extra $400 to spend ever month, or put the money saved towards the mortgage and afford and extra $50,000-60,000 worth of house.

A place that wouldn’t be affordable now is, or that household can get more space and amenities for their money. Some people who would live and work downtown might not need a car at all.

Building the Streetcar will attract new residents to grow our tax base and save Cincinnatians money.  Support our City–Build the Streetcar.

11 thoughts on “Streetcar to Reduce Residential Parking Requirements, Increase Housing Affordability

    John Schneider said:
    June 18, 2010 at 5:04 pm

    Can’t be a more succinct explanation than this one.

    Well done, Brad!

    Quimbob said:
    June 18, 2010 at 5:37 pm

    I heard a committee talking about this. Aren’t they planning on easing up on parking restrictions for retail, too?
    This is a real coup for Libertrians & other free marketers. I bet they are dancing in the streets even now.

    Al said:
    June 19, 2010 at 7:34 am

    My wife and live at the emery. I walk everywhere so we are selling one of our cars. The extra money will supplement our savings and allow us to go out to more dinners, take more vacations, and do a multitude of other things that are more rewarding than car ownership.

    Everywhere in the country initiatives are undertaken to reduce people dependence on cars, because young intelligent people (who like us grew up car dependent) are rejecting that lifestyle. This is a good development for the city. Lets create cities for people, not cars.

    New jersey limousine service said:
    June 21, 2010 at 8:16 am

    Yes parking is a problem everywhere and with this decision will really help ease up traffic in residential areas.

    5chw4r7z said:
    June 21, 2010 at 4:01 pm

    I can back those figures up, we purchased a second parking spot for 15k. As soon as the streetcar is built I’m selling my car and renting out the parking spot.

    Streetcar Project Well Underway « VisionCincinnati said:
    June 21, 2010 at 10:51 pm

    […] make us a more vibrant, competitive, and accessible city. One move the planning commission passed reduced parking requirements for new developments around the route making it less expensive for developers to […]

    newark limo said:
    March 1, 2011 at 12:56 pm

    parking is a problem everywhere increasing the population and with this decision will really help easy to traffic in residential areas.

    […] Cincinnati should follow Nashville’s lead in abolishing its parking minimums. In 2010, the Cincinnati Planning Commission approved a 50% reduction in residential parking requirements for residences within 600 feet of a streetcar […]

    […] more is that the portions of the Mercer Commons development along Vine Street qualify for a 50 percent parking reduction for being within 600 feet of a streetcar stop, thanks to a new regulation approved by the City of […]

    […] Cincinnati should follow Nashville’s lead in abolishing its parking minimums. In 2010, the Cincinnati Planning Commission approved a 50% reduction in residential parking requirements for residences within 600 feet of a streetcar […]

    […] June 2010, city officials moved forward with new legislation that allowed for a 50% parking reduction for residences located within 600 feet of a streetcar stop. Then in March 2012, Vice Mayor Roxanne Qualls (C) introduced a motion, which was co-sponsored by […]

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