Parking minimums eliminated for new developments in West End and Broadway Plan areas
Today, City Council unanimously approved the removal of parking minimum requirements for new developments in the West End and Broadway Plan areas, effective January 1, 2024.
Historically, new developments have been required to provide a set number of parking spaces to prevent parking spillover onto adjacent streets. In the West End and Broadway Plan areas, the streets are well-regulated and the neighbourhoods are dense and walkable which reduces vehicle dependence and is conducive to shorter, more active trips.
The new regulations approved for the West End and Broadway are similar to requirements for new developments in the downtown area implemented in January 2019. Accessible spots for people with disabilities, visitor spaces, bike parking spaces, and loading spaces will continue to be required.
Studies of jurisdictions across North America, including Vancouver, suggest that eliminating parking minimum requirements can:
- Lower barriers for developments with financial constraints, including housing projects
- Increase the opportunity to develop sites considered previously unviable (e.g. small properties or locations with challenging ground conditions)
- Simplify and accelerate the application and review process for new developments
- Offer more flexibility for the market to supply parking that matches demand
- Increase affordability, particularly for non-market housing; and
- Enable reduced underground construction, which can decrease costs, time, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
“Eliminating parking requirements for new builds is one of the key strategies we’re taking to speed up the development process and build more homes faster,” says Mayor Ken Sim. “This is a smart change and it will have a direct influence particularly on the affordability of non-market housing for low to middle-income families.
As part of the policy change, developers in the areas where parking is not required will need to submit a Transportation Demand Management (TDM) plan with their permit application. TDM PDF file (2 MB) is one of the City’s tools to encourage and prioritize walking, cycling and transit choices over private vehicles that will help us reach our Climate Emergency Action Plan goals of having 2/3 of all trips in the city by walking, biking or transit by 2030.
The West End and Broadway Plan areas were chosen as most daily needs are within an easy walk, bike or transit trip, the streets are well-regulated and there is an excess of existing off-street parking spaces.
Staff will report back in 2024 with the next phase of eliminating parking minimums and a framework to improve the regulation of on-street parking. In areas where on-street parking becomes challenging, the City can introduce curbside regulations to better manage the use of the street. In residential areas, this is typically managed with permit parking and in commercial areas, it may be time-limited or pay parking. Residents and businesses can request changes to parking regulations by contacting the City via 311.
More information can be found in the Council report PDF file (9.4 MB)