Parking ZOTA Position Statement
UPDATE: PLN-ZOTA-20-00003: ARTICLE 8 and 16 was approved by the Planning Commission in July 2020 and will go to the LFUCG Council next.
Fayette Alliance submitted a position statement on July 21, 2020 with respect to PLN-ZOTA-20-00003: ARTICLE 8 and 16, a petition for a Zoning Ordinance text amendment to revise parking requirements for mixed-income housing developments.
One of the key issues facing Lexington, along with many other cities across our country, is the lack of housing diversity and affordability. Removing regulatory obstacles to remedying these issues is critical to our success in housing our citizens, as well as providing an equitable and inclusive community for all, and parking regulations have been identified nationwide as policies which can relieve the pressures cities and developers face in doing so. Parking requirements negatively impact multi-family housing, namely affordable projects, as the significant expense of parking infrastructure increases the overall costs of the project, often by 20% or more, and is passed on to tenants in increased rents to recoup these costs. Affordable projects can already be more difficult to finance, and a shift towards building housing for people, and not cars, can make a meaningful difference in what types of housing options Lexington can make feasible for our community.
ZOTA 20-00003, which reduces parking requirements to a flat requirement of one space per dwelling unit for mixed-income housing development in any zone, is another example (on the heels of the updates to the Floor Area Ratio Requirements) of the type of updates to our ordinance we must implement to remove barriers to the type of growth we are trying to achieve. Reducing costs associated with parking, promoting flexibility as it relates to affordable housing development, and encouraging a more efficient use of our land must be a key focus of implementing our infill and re-development growth strategy.