Parking: California State Government Aims to Take Over Local Control, Lower Parking Requirements for New Buildings
Presentation by transit expert Thomas Rubin exposes the scope and intention of proposed new laws
April 10, 2023
The below was an email sent by Northeast Neighbors community group advocate Tricia Crane to the group members regarding a recent presentation:
Dear Northeast Neighbors and friends,
Monday's meeting was one of our most informative and provocative. It was also the first time we have dedicated the entire two hours to one speaker and topic: Transit expert Thomas Rubin on "What to Expect with Proposed Parking Changes."
Despite its modest title, Rubin's brilliant presentation reveals the scope and intention of proposed State legislation that aims to remove the ability of cities to manage parking. If approved by the legislature, these bills will impact existing housing and new developments by reducing parking exclusively in the service of development acceleration. If they become law they will jam neighborhood streets by
· "Unbundling" existing parking from buildings (creating a separate tenant cost for parking) that will increase cost of living over time
· Taking away parking requirements in new buildings, including those that need it most in affordable housing developments, by pretending that people can rely on completely inadequate and unsafe transit
· Effectively denying access to auto mobility to future tenants (increasing inequality) should cars actually transition to 100% electric by virtually eliminating access to practical charging
· Partly justifying parking elimination based on a climate argument that assumes there is no transition to electric vehicles
Rubin was asked "How is it that we are building defective housing – housing with no parking - when this will blight cities for decades?"
"The stakeholders are not the people," Rubin responded. "The stakeholders are developers, investors and unions. Building parking is expensive and cuts into developer profits."
"If there is a bill in the legislature that 100 million people will each be charged $1 each to give $100 million to Joe Smith, well Mr. Smith will be willing to spend quite a bit of money to get that passed. When each of the 100 million people are out by only a buck, how much time are they going to spend on it?
"Unfortunately, this is how government works nowadays."
A copy of Rubin's presentation is attached [not to this news article] and a video of Monday's lecture can be accessed at the link below. Feel free to share it with friends.
You will also find it and other recordings of past meetings on our website: http://www.neneighbors.org
To understand and track legislation that will impact all of our lives but is rarely reported on in the press, be sure to join Livable California, a statewide non-partisan group – including elected officials, nonprofit and organization leaders and individuals who together advocate for empowerment of local governments to foster equitable, livable communities and truly affordable housing.
Livable members meet virtually on Saturday mornings and membership is free. Or you can become a sustaining member to help maintain their strong activism and educational outreach. It's a very good cause.