Phoenix Sets New Requirements for Parking Spaces to Make City More ‘Walkable’

PHOENIX — The Phoenix City Council approved a plan that would reduce the required number of parking spaces for new multifamily housing developments in the city.

The new requirements call for a minimum of 1.5 parking spaces per residential unit, regardless of size, citywide. In areas the city deems as more “walkable”, the minimum is set to .75 parking spaces per unit. 

The proposal was first floated in September of 2023, but it was tabled until Wednesday’s meeting. 

The idea was to create more walkability and encourage the use of public transportation while reducing traffic and congestion. 

Initially, the proposal was put before the individual village councils for approval. Almost all of them rejected it. At the time, the proposal had more strict minimums for parking spaces.

The version put before the council on Wednesday was less strict, while still calling for a reduction.

The plan does not limit the number of parking spaces a developer can have, it only sets a limit on the minimum.

The Arizona Multihousing Association supported the ordinance from the beginning.

“We’re always looking at ways to make it a little more dense and to get as many units on the parcel of land as possible,” Courtney LeVinus with the AZ Multihousing Association said. 

“Our developers always try to strike that fine balance of the housing that is needed for their resident population and the land that’s available,” said LeVinus.

Critics said it places an undue burden on people who live with roommates and have multiple cars who now have to find and pay for alternate parking. If paid parking is unavailable, they worried street parking around those communities would increase drastically. 

The council passed the new recommendations by a vote of 8-1.

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