City may nix requirement for parking spots at new condos

Sunday, April 29th, 2007

VANCOUVER: New plan aims to cut car use, promote public transit

John Bermingham

Wave a long goodbye to the condo parking stall.

As land values go skyward, the City of Vancouver is putting a slow squeeze on parking spots around the city.

On Thursday, council will consider lowering the requirement for parking stalls in new condo and townhouse projects in most of Vancouver.

It means the city would no longer expect a new one-bedroom condo to automatically come with a full parking stall.

The city will require 0.9 parking spaces for a 70 square-metre one-bedroom, 0.5 parking spaces per bachelor-sized condo, and 1.5 spaces for a two-bedroom condo or larger.

“We are going to see more and more projects with less than one space per unit,” said Paul Pinsker, who is reviewing off-street parking for the city.

Homeowners own fewer cars, said Pinsker, and use their parking stalls less.

“People are using transit more, they’re biking more, they’re walking more,” he told The Province.

“And cars are getting expensive.

“How low should we go? We’re saying it’s pretty safe to go about nine per cent below the observed demand.”

The changes won’t apply to downtown, False Creek or the Downtown Eastside.

City Coun. Suzanne Anton said the EcoDensity plan will try to reduce the use of cars and getting people on to transit.

“This is a subtle way of discouraging automobile use,” said Anton.

“You could have a unit with no parking spaces. But if your unit only has one space, that is slightly discouraging to owning a second car.”

Realtor Bob Rennie, who was the first to market downtown condos without parking stalls, said it can knock $55,000 off the basic cost, which translates to $300 a month off a mortgage.

© The Vancouver Province 2007

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