New Law Adjusts Parking Minimums in California

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Gov. Newsom is looking to tackle housing affordability and climate change with one fell swoop. 

California is seeking to address housing affordability and climate change at the same time with new legislation. Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA) announced Sept. 22 that he signed planning and zoning measure Assembly Bill 2097 to adjust parking requirement minimums for residential, commercial and other development projects. 

In an announcement video about the new law, Newsom says, “…housing solutions are also climate solutions… [and this] will allow us to make progress by addressing both issues simultaneously.” The idea is to make housing more affordable and easier to build near mass transit and daily routes—jobs, grocery stores and schools. “This means more housing at lower prices… reducing housing costs for everyday Californians.” 

The new law will prohibit local agencies from implementing parking minimums for projects within half a mile from transit stops with certain exceptions such as having fewer than 20 units or allocating a minimum of 20% of units toward students, the elderly, persons with disabilities or very low, low- or moderate-income households. 

Structured parking, according to a report from the Terner Center for Housing Innovation at UC Berkeley, can add roughly $36,000 per unit to development.