Housing Without Street Parking: Implemented

by jefftkjefftk1 min read24th Jul 20211 comment

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In 2017, I wrote:

What if, in places like Somerville where all parking is already by-permit-only, we added a new category of housing unit, one that didn't come with any rights to street parking?
It turns out this was included in the 2019 zoning overhaul (I missed this among all the other great changes):
11.2.7: On-Street Parking in Transit Areas
  1. Upon the adoption of an official policy limiting on-street residential parking permits in transit areas, the review boards shall require the following as a condition(s) of any discretionary or administrative permit:
    1. that the applicant complete and file formal acknowledgment that all dwelling unit(s) are ineligible to participate in the Somerville Residential Permit Parking program with the with the Middlesex South Registry of Deeds or Land court prior to the issuance of a building permit;
    2. that all dwelling units are advertised as ineligible to participate in the Somerville Residential Permit Parking program; and
    3. that all buyers grantees, lessees, renters, or tenants are informed that all dwelling unit(s) is ineligible to participate in the Somerville Residential Permit Parking program.
By transit area they mean everything within half a mile from a subway stop, which with the Green Line makes most of the city:

I'm very excited to see this! While housing without parking is not what everyone wants or needs, this change (a) makes it an option for people who do want it and (b) should help reduce opposition to construction.

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I’m curious to see if this actually does reduce opposition to construction in practice, or if folks are simply opposed to density (in which case they’ll find another excuse to object).  I’ve seen some folks get noisy about how building denser projects with more units and less parking would effectively take away their street parking in Porter Square — but most of those folks were probably rationalizing the idea that density is bad, since suggesting this no-street-parking policy prompted several folks to quickly object that allowing such projects would be unfair to those people who do need a car.