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Vancouver moves to eliminate minimum parking requirements for development in 2 neighbourhoods

An underground parking area is seen in this undated stock image. ( An underground parking area is seen in this undated stock image. (

New construction in Vancouver's West End and Broadway Plan areas will no longer be required to include a minimum number of parking spaces beginning Jan. 1.

City councillors unanimously approved a motion eliminating parking minimums in those neighbourhoods at their meeting Wednesday.

The move is intended to make development more affordable, particularly on sites that would otherwise be considered unviable and for projects that aim to deliver affordable and non-market housing.

Vancouver eliminated minimum parking requirements for new developments in the downtown core in 2019, and a statement from the city following Wednesday's vote indicates staff will be presenting plans for the "next phase" of eliminating parking requirements next year.

Accessible spots for people with disabilities, visitor spaces, bike parking spaces and loading spaces continue to be required for new buildings in the designated areas, as are Transportation Demand Management plans, which developers must submit with their permit applications.

The city describes TDM plans as a tool to "encourage and prioritize walking, cycling and transit" over private vehicles. The city's goal is for two-thirds of all trips in the city happen via one of those methods – rather than in private vehicles – by 2030.

The West End and the Broadway Plan area were chosen for the elimination of minimum parking requirements because they are generally dense, walkable areas where most daily needs can be easily accessed without a car.

Other cities, including Toronto, Edmonton, New York and Portland, Ore., have eliminated parking minimums city-wide.

Historically, the purpose of such requirements has been to ensure sufficient off-street parking for residents of a new building and prevent "parking spillover" onto adjacent streets, according to Vancouver's statement.

The city describes the West End and Broadway Plan areas as having "well-regulated" streets and "an excess of existing off-street parking."

If on-street parking becomes challenging, the city says it can introduce "curbside regulations" – such as permit parking, parking time limits and paid parking – to manage the demand.

“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, in the city's statement.

“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.” Top Stories

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