“Sending a clear message that cars are finally taking a backseat in Toronto planning, City Council has just changed regulations for parking spots” writes Erin Nicole Davis for STOREYS. “Late yesterday, the City announced it has adopted zoning bylaw amendments that will remove most requirements for new developments to provide a minimum number of parking spaces. At the same time, limits on the number of spaces that can be built will be added. This will permit developers to build spaces based on market demand.”
With a population of almost 3 million, Toronto is Canada’s largest city. Its climate action plan, TransformTO Net Zero Strategy, has an ambitious goal with 75 percent of school/work trips under 5km made by walking, biking or using public transit by 2030. It is hoped that new zoning bylaw amendments will align with this action plan by discouraging car use and encouraging alternative transport methods.
The zoning bylaw amendments are also expected to help to make housing more affordable. Parking spaces are expensive to build, especially underground, and removing the required minimum will reduce both the costs and the time to construct ground up housing developments, which costs are inevitably passed on to the consumer. Data from the Residential Construction Council of Ontario (RESCON) shows a significant rise in parking stall prices over the last few years with an average of one third of parking stalls remaining unsold in new condo developments. “Forcing developers to provide parking that might not be used just didn’t make any sense” says RESCON president Richard Lyall.
And with less cars, Toronto will be able to transform more parking lots into green spaces.
Read the original article here.
Image courtesy of J. D. Norton, modified