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What do Phoenix’s Newly Amended Parking Requirements Mean for Your Development?


Last week the Phoenix City Council approved a hotly debated Text Amendment that revises minimum parking requirements for various developments. The Text Amendment primarily alleviates parking requirements for multi-family housing as well as developments along designated transit corridors. This occurred after the Phoenix City Council received substantial input (both negative and positive) from Phoenix citizens, all 15 Village Planning Committees, the Planning Commission and the City Council Transportation, Infrastructure and Planning Subcommittee.

The approval will result in the following key changes to the Phoenix Zoning Ordinance.

First, Section 702.C will be updated to reflect a new reduced and streamlined parking requirement for multi-family developments. Previously, the number of parking spaces was determined by the number of bedrooms within each dwelling unit. Now, the minimum requirement for multifamily development will be 1.5 spaces per dwelling unit, regardless of the number of bedrooms, with a minimum of 50% of required spaces must be provided as unreserved spaces.

Second, Section 702.E will include provisions to reduce both the required parking for Special Needs Populations and multi-family infill development. If they qualify, both developments can potentially be granted a 50% reduction in required minimum parking. Special Needs Populations is defined as persons or households with special needs, such as the disabled and elderly, with the ultimate determination being made by the Zoning Administrator.  

Third, Section 1307, which contains the parking requirements for properties zoned within the Walkable Urban Code District will be updated to reflect a new parking requirement for multifamily of 0.75 spaces per dwelling unit with a minimum of 50% of the required spaces shall remain unreserved. These areas are situated along key transit corridors in the City of Phoenix.

These parking requirement reductions reflected in the Text Amendment should be a positive sign to developers, tenants, and citizens alike.

For developers, these reductions should make multi-family, affordable housing, and infill development more financially feasible. The parking reductions both lower the costs needed to spend on parking as well as open more room on sites for additional residential units.

For tenants, this could signal that a wider variety and supply of housing options will be available to them at different price points. With less space being used for parking, these areas could potentially be repurposed for other more exciting and attractive community amenities.

Phoenix citizens current and future benefit as well. When developers are not constrained by strict parking minimums, the outcome will be more aesthetically pleasing and functional developments. Concentrating development in existing urban areas and on infill areas may also contribute to more sustainable transportation patterns, reducing carbon emissions. Additionally, the reduction of unnecessary blacktop pavement will serve to reduce the heat-island effect – a mounting problem throughout the valley. The incentives aimed at encouraging transit use ideally would lessen traffic as well.

These amendments mark a significant step toward a more adaptable, inclusive, and sustainable development landscape for the vibrant community of Phoenix.

If you have any questions regarding the text amendment, please contact your local Quarles attorney or:

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