Obama praised Denver for taking on parking minimums, but city is considering changing its stance

Denver recently got a White House shoutout for “taking on minimum parking requirements,” but don’t fist-pump just yet — the city’s also exploring a change in the policy.

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13th Street in Cheesman Park. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

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13th Street in Cheesman Park. (Kevin J. Beaty/Denverite)

Denver recently got a White House shoutout for “taking on minimum parking requirements,” but don’t fist-pump just yet — the city’s also exploring a change in the policy. 

Previously, lots 6,250 square feet or smaller in mixed-use zones were not required to provide any parking on site. But because of an August City Council decision, a stakeholder group is exploring a new policy. Meanwhile, there’s a seven-month moratorium on the small lot exemption.
So why are parking minimums bad anyway, according to the White House? Here’s what they wrote:
“These requirements have a disproportionate impact on housing for low-income households because these families tend to own fewer vehicles but are nonetheless burdened by the extra cost of parking’s inclusion in the development. The significant cost of developing parking from $5,000 per surface parking spot to $60,000 underground is incorporated at the start of the project, which can impede the viability and affordability of the construction.”
Streetsblog Denver wrote that the cost around the city is more like $26,000 for each underground parking space and $18,000 for each above-ground space.

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