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Plan for Reduced Parking Near Metro Stations Advancing Towards Board Vote

New residential buildings near Metro stations in Arlington County could have car parking spaces substituted for spots for bike and car-sharing.

The Arlington County Board is expected to advance an updated off-street parking policy for multi-family buildings at its meeting Saturday. It would allow developers to provide fewer car parking spaces for certain new apartment and condo buildings built in the Rosslyn-Ballston and Crystal City-Pentagon City Metro corridors.

The change, to encourage more use of transit, bicycles and other transportation, stemmed in part from a report released earlier this year by the county’s residential parking work group.

The new policy would incldue the following, per a report by county staff:

  • Minimum parking requirements for market-rate units ranging from 0.2 to 0.6 spaces per unit depending on distance from the nearest Metro station entrance (ranging from 1/8 to 3/4 of a mile).
  • Minimum parking requirements for 60-percent-of-Area-Median-Income and 50-percent-of-AMI committed affordable units, and no minimum parking requirements for 40%-of-AMI units.
  • Reductions of up to 50 percent of the minimum parking requirements in exchange for providing bike parking, bike share, or car-share amenities on site, in addition to those already required by the county.
  • A separate visitor parking requirement of 0.05 spaces per unit for the first 200 units.
  • Allowances for shared parking between different land uses in mixed-use projects, like offices, retail and residential.
  • Allowances for meeting parking requirements through the dedication of spaces at existing garages located within 800 feet of the new building and in the Metro corridors.
  • Mitigation requirements for parking in excess of 1.65 spaces per unit.
  • Relief from minimum parking requirements for sites with physical constraints like size, historic structures that must be retained and more.

In their report, staff noted the potential for knock-on effects in neighborhoods where new buildings have lower parking requirements.

“Staff have heard concern from some stakeholders that low parking requirements will lead developers to seek permission to build less parking on-site than the buildings’ residents will need,” they wrote. “According to this line of thinking, some residents of those multi-family buildings will then park on neighboring streets, thereby increasing competition for on-street parking spaces, making parking less convenient.”

If the Board moves the plan forward on Saturday, as staff recommends, a public hearing and final vote on the subject will be set for its November meeting.

Images via county presentation.

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