State bill will eliminate parking requirements for building construction near public transit – CBS News 8

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SAN DIEGO — New state legislation is aiming to do away with minimum parking requirements for developers looking to build around public transit areas. CBS 8 spoke with California State Senator, Anthony Portantino, who co-authored the bill. 
“You want properties around transit,” said Senator Portantino. “You want to get people out of their cars.  You want to incentivize alternative modes of transportation.” Assembly Bill 2097 was just approved by the California State Legislature last week.  If signed into law, it would essentially ban mandatory parking space requirements for residential or commercial buildings within a half-mile of public transit. 
“We want to make sure that we respect a movement towards an alternative way of getting to work, which is on a bicycle or on mass transit,” said Senator Portantino. 
By not requiring parking spaces, which can cost builders between $40,000 and $100,000 per space, the bill aims to lower construction costs for new housing.  Senator Portantino thinks this will result in more affordable rent prices too. 
“If you eliminate parking, the cost of construction will be less and therefore, the rents will be less,” said Senator Portantino. 
The city of San Diego already lifted parking requirements over 3 years ago for multifamily residential construction in what are called Transit Priority Areas.  The new Assembly Bill is a similar effort statewide to increase density around public transit and encourage people to use ways of getting around other than cars. 
“If there’s no parking, you’re going to attract people that don’t have cars,” said Senator Portantino. “You’re going to attract people who bike to work, who walk to work, who use mass transit.” 
Some people CBS 8 spoke with in Clairemont disagree. They say people aren’t going to give up their cars and instead, they’ll just park their vehicles on the street. 
“Obviously it’s not enough because the streets are full,” said Dave Cale. “So why wouldn’t that happen again with the new construction?” 
“They’re still bringing cars,” said Rosalie Clayton. “People are wanting to be very independent.  They don’t want to depend on public transportation to be taking the bus down to the trolley.” 
Others like William Rhatigan with the San Diego County Bicycle Coalition are all for doing away with mandatory parking. 
“For me, this bill would allow me to live somewhere where there’s no parking provided,” said Rhatigan. “I don’t need parking and I can now pay a cheaper rent than I’d have to otherwise.” 
Senator Portantino says that while parking spaces may not be required near public transit, it doesn’t mean builders will always choose to have zero parking in these areas. 
“There’s going to be that relationship between what is right for that particular neighborhood, and if the developer wants to have some parking spaces, they’re going to have the flexibility to do it,” said Senator Portantino. “But first and foremost, you’re going to be attracting people who are fine with not having parking in that building.” 
AB-2097 is currently sitting on Governor Newsom’s desk and he is expected to sign it into law.
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