While many city-government watchers had their attention on the budget battle today, a major proposal was released by Mayor Tim Burgess‘s office – proposed changes in parking policy. The map above, based on 2009-2014 research about carlessness percentages in neighborhoods, was included.
The official news release focused primarily on one component of the proposal, “shared” parking, but there’s much more to it, as summarized in this report that was among the documents made public today:
The proposed parking-policy changes follow low-level “outreach” at city events where other topics took centerstage, such as last December’s the infamous Junction open house for HALA Mandatory Housing Affordability upzoning, primarily held at what was then Shelby’s.
If you don’t have time yet to go through the summary document above, it breaks down what’s proposed into six areas – number 3 is the big one:
1. Defining “flexible-use parking” and facilitating more shared parking. …
2. Convenient access to car share …
3. Update and clarify provisions for Frequent Transit Service (FTS) areas
That’s related to what caught people by surprise five years ago, when projects started turning up with little or no offstreet parking, because of a city “director’s rule” allowing that when the site was in an FTS area. The new proposal would loosen the rules and expand those areas, with one West Seattle area specifically mentioned in the document:
Combined with the service levels provided by Metro and Sound Transit, the proposal will
increase the share of the city covered by FTS from 18.6% to 22.5%. This is equivalent to a
2,062-acre expansion in the FTS area within Seattle’s 53,151 gross-acres. This will newly cover
portions of northeast Seattle, and new portions of corridors in other parts of the city. Part of this
expansion of FTS coverage is also due to the added 270,000 hours of service that Seattle has
purchased from Metro. … With increased FTS there are also areas outside Urban Villages where the proposed FTS frequency measure would newly allow for a 50% reduction in the required minimum parking level. These include multifamily and non-residential zoned areas in the following locations:
Here’s the West Seattle zone specifically described in the document:
In West Seattle, near the 21 bus route, portions of land along 35th Avenue SW between approximately SW Edmunds Street and SW Kenyon Street …
Overall, this map shows what areas are, and would be, considered to have FTS:
(See it full size, PDF, on the city website here.)
The remaining section headers in the summary of the policy-change proposal:
4. Update parking policies in Seattle’s version of the State Environmental Policy Act (SEPA)
5. Update and consolidate bike parking requirements for new development
6. Other Related Code Amendments
7. Consistency with the Comprehensive Plan
If you want to read the really fine print, it’s here, in the 112-page proposed ordinance that’s been sent to City Council. Reviews and hearings are expected to start next month, according to the mayor’s announcement today. If you have feedback in the meantime, email@example.com is the general address.