Bates Area resident Matt Malinowski is a contributor to the Greater Greater Washington blog. Yesterday, he posted an entry on parking requirements under the proposed DC zoning regulations update initiative. He mentions the pursued zoning variance by the Mundo Verde Public Charter School folks for its school on P Street NW.
I have copied the section of his GGW blog post on Mundo Verde. You are invited to read his entire entry by clicking on the link below.
Parking requirements aren’t one-size-fits-all
by Matt Malinowski • November 12, 2013 2:27 pm
In effect, crossing the street from one zone to the other has tripled the parking requirement. But has the urban fabric changed so much that three times as many people will now drive to work?
The current system breaks down not just at the boundaries, but also within zones. In Truxton Circle, there are three schools within a block of each other: the newly rebuilt Dunbar High School, one charter school, and another charter school in planning. According to neighbors, cars are overflowing the parking lot at Dunbar, while the existing Community Academy Public Charter School (CAPCS) has recently built a parking lot for 140 cars overnight, and apparently without any permits.
Meanwhile, the forthcoming Mundo Verde Public Charter School is seeking a variance to give up 36 of its 53 required parking spaces and build gardens in their place. Staff are expected to ride bikes, so there are 20 bike parking spots instead, and the Metro is a 10-minute walk away.
So even for the same uses in the same location, one-size-fits-all parking requirements do not apply. Rather than develop even finer zone boundaries or zone definitions (an overlay specific to green charter schools?), how about a simpler solution: eliminate or minimize parking requirements wherever possible. That means downtown, in other higher-density zones, and near high-frequency transit.