More Housing for People, Less for Cars

April 20, 2018

Futurewise and partners at the Seattle City Council hearing on parking legislation

Imagine a policy that could help lower the cost of rent, relieve congestion, reduce our transportation emissions and air pollution, and also improve bicycle parking. By changing Seattle’s rules for off-street parking in new buildings, Futurewise and our community partners were able to achieve all of these goals.  Legislation to update parking requirements in Seattle passed through Seattle City Council on April 2nd.   This new legislation will:

  • Reduce how much parking a developer must construct in parts of the city served by frequent transit.

  • Allow for off-site rental of underused private parking, which will also reduce the amount of new parking construction.

  • Improve bike storage and bike parking options.

  • Require landlords to unbundle the cost of parking from rent, so those who don't want to pay for a parking space won't have to.

  • Set stronger, uniform standards for bicycle parking.  

Reducing parking requirements and unbundling parking from rent are key recommendations in the comprehensive Housing Affordability and Livability Agenda (HALA) that aims to reduce the cost of housing. By requiring more parking to be built than is utilized, our previous parking codes made housing units more expensive and resulted in fewer homes being built.  

This update to our parking code assists in meeting Seattle’s commitments to reduce reliance on single-occupancy vehicles, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and achieve the HALA strategy to lower housing costs. These changes are much needed and long overdue, and we are pleased to see that these commitments are a top priority for our City Council.  

Check out one of our advocacy letters here.