Are parking requirements still needed in Montgomery County?
Just Up the Pike blogger Dan Reed raises the question in a recent post just as a proposed new version of the county's zoning code is set to go to a public hearing Tuesday before the Montgomery County Council.
First drafted in 1928, Montgomery County’s zoning code has been revised several times, but not since 1977, when Montgomery County was predominantly suburban, Matt Johnson wrote on Greater Greater Washington.
Proposed code updates lessen the parking requirements that developers and property owners are supposed to provide in increasingly urban areas like Bethesda, Silver Spring, Wheaton and Silver Spring, where there is public parking.
Under the current code, restaurants are required to have 25 parking spaces for every 1,000 square feet, Reed writes. The new version only requires between four and 10 spaces, depending on whether the restaurant is in a parking district.
Bike parking, car sharing spaces, charging stations and carpool spaces are all considered in the code update, Reed notes.
While the new code lessens parking requirements, Reed posits whether requiring parking minimums is necessary at all.
Citing expenses inherent in building parking spaces and pollution caused by stormwater runoff from lots, Reed writes that some parking lots could be better utilized for buildings or parks.