City councillors endorsed a new plan to eliminate minimum parking requirements for new developments after a packed hearing before the city’s urban planning committee Tuesday.
Final details will return to committee for review before rules officially change this fall, but it means a major shift in the way Edmonton ensures adequate parking availability.
Since the 1960s, Edmonton has required developers to provide a minimum number of parking stalls for each specific land use through its zoning bylaw, said Anne Stevenson, a senior city planner. A new mall, for example, would be required to build enough parking to accommodate peak demand the week before Christmas — spaces which sit unused the rest of the year.
Stevenson said just one section of the city’s current bylaw has over 150 parking regulations for different types of homes and businesses.
The city began revising its parking rules a decade ago, removing and reducing some minimum parking requirements. This new option would remove minimums completely, allowing homeowners and businesses to “choose the amount of parking that meets their needs,” Stevenson said.