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Revisions to Off-Street Parking Standards

On January 9, 2009, the City Council adopted substantial revisions to the City’s off-street parking and loading regulations.

Background

The Citys zoning ordinance regulates the number of off-street parking and loading spaces that must be provided when establishing or expanding land uses in Minneapolis. The City Council approved (pending Metropolitan Council review) a new comprehensive plan for the City, The Minneapolis Plan for Sustainable Growth, which includes policies that help inform revisions to City ordinances, including standards related to off-street parking. Policies that speak most directly to parking are found in the Transportation Chapter.

The off-street parking revisions are intended to ensure that the City’s regulations are consistent with best practices and that they align with City policies related to land use, transportation, community character/urban design, and environmental sustainability.

The Revisions

The adopted revisions respond to policies that call for balancing the demand for parking with other important objectives such as maintaining the city’s traditional urban form and encouraging the use of alternative modes of transportation. The revisions recognize that there are negative consequences associated with undersupplying or oversupplying parking. The revisions further recognize that in conjunction with new development or adaptive re-use of existing buildings, requests for variances to reduce the number of required parking spaces have been granted in most instances.

The new regulations are intended to be context sensitive, generally offering greater flexibility related to the minimum number of parking spaces that must be provided with new development while also incorporating reasonable limits on the amount of parking that may be provided. Minimum parking requirements have been eliminated from the downtown zoning districts. Bicycle parking requirements have become much more prominent.

The revisions are incorporated into the Title 20, Citys zoning code, with most changes occurring in chapters 541 and 551. View the City's code of ordinances.

Approval Process and Community Engagement

The following steps were taken in the public engagement and adoption process:

Public meetings. Three meetings took place for the purpose of providing information and receiving input from the broader community on the proposed zoning changes.

Downtown-focused open house. This open house included a discussion about off-street parking requirements as they apply to the downtown area.

Thursday, September 18th, 4:30 – 6:30 p.m.

Room 319 City Hall, 350 S. 5th Street

Business association focus group. This focus group included a discussion with business associations and business owners interested in off-street parking requirements as they apply to commercial uses.

Wednesday, October 1st, 10:00-11:00

Northeast Library Meeting Room

2200 Central Avenue NE

Neighborhood-focused open house. This open house included a discussion about off-street parking requirements as they apply to areas of the city outside of downtown.

Thursday, October 16th, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.

Martin Luther King Recreation Center

4055 Nicollet Avenue

City Planning Commission. Zoning code amendments are reviewed by the City Planning Commission, which makes a recommendation to the City Council regarding adoption of the proposed changes. The City Planning Commission accepted testimony at a public hearing about the proposed revisions on November 17, 2008, and forwarded a recommendation of approval to the City Council.

City Council Zoning and Planning Committee.

City Council. The City Council must take an action on proposed ordinance revisions. The City council considered and adopted the amendment on January 9, 2009.

For Further Information

Jason Wittenberg
Planning Supervisor
250 S. 4th St. – Room 300 PSC
Minneapolis, MN 55415
Phone: (612) 673-2297
Fax: (612) 673-2526

jason.wittenberg@minneapolismn.gov

Last updated Oct 27, 2011