City of Minneapolis Residential Parking Revisions
The intent of the zoning code amendment, adopted by the City Council on July 10, 2015, is to allow flexibility regarding the minimum number of parking spaces that must be provided for residential uses in areas well-served by bus and rail transit. The amendment ensures better alignment between the City’s parking regulations and its adopted housing, transportation, and land use policies.
In most zoning districts, the City of Minneapolis required that apartment and condominium buildings provide parking spaces equal to the number of dwelling units in the building. Exceptions applied in selected areas of the city. The zoning code’s former transit incentive was narrow in scope; authorizing only a 10 percent reduction in the parking requirement for residential uses located within 300 feet of a transit stop.
There are several reasons the City adopted increased flexibility, including the following:
Housing affordability. Parking is expensive to construct. The substantial costs associated with building and maintaining parking is passed on to residents through higher rents or sale prices. Constructing buildings with fewer parking spaces offers an opportunity to provide housing at a more affordable price.
Transportation. The public has made substantial investments in public transportation. These investments support City and regional goals of offering people choices about how they access jobs, schools, retail stores, and recreational amenities. Transit-oriented development, with lower supplies of parking, supports a range of housing options and capitalizes on the public’s investment in transit. Allowing the market to play a greater role in determining the number of parking spaces that must be provided for apartments and condominiums reduces the degree to which public policies are skewed toward increased automobile use. While the Twin Cities area is the 16th largest metro area in the U.S., a University of Minnesota study suggests that the Twin Cities area has the 13th best transit system. And Walk Score ranks Minneapolis as the 12th most walkable city in the country. It’s notable that approximately 18 percent of Minneapolis households do not own a car.
Land use and urban design. The City’s land use policies encourage transit-oriented development along our transit corridors. However, ordinances that require a large number of parking spaces for residential uses make it more difficult to fulfill these policies. Areas that are designated for higher-density uses may remain underutilized because it’s impractical or economically infeasible to provide parking for every dwelling unit. Further, creative building designs are hindered by the amount of space required to provide parking and associated maneuvering aisles and access ramps.
Meetings and Amendment Review Schedule
April 30, 2015 – City Planning Commission Committee of the Whole
May 21, 2015 – Informational open house
June 15, 2015 – City Planning Commission public hearing
June 25, 2015 – City Council Zoning & Planning Committee
July 10, 2015 – City Council
Last updated Feb 15, 2019