Phoenix residents debate proposal that would reduce parking requirements at new apartments

Tempers are flaring in Phoenix as neighborhood leaders across town push back against the city’s proposal to reduce parking requirements at new residential developments.The proposed city law would change the city’s formula that calculates how many parking spaces an apartment complex needs. Most 100-unit developments would go from 150 required spaces to 125 spaces, plus there would be lower requirements for unreserved parking.Affordable apartments and developments near light rail would see steeper reductions, but the steepest cuts of all would be for affordable apartments near the light rail, which in most cases would require zero parking spaces.The proposal is intended to improve rental affordability and the environment by reducing costs associated with building parking spaces and steering residents toward public transit. Reducing building costs should result in lower priced apartments, plus more of them, the argument goes. The benefits of reduced car dependence is twofold: fewer cars to contribute to emissions and less asphalt to contribute to the urban heat island effect.

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