David Grosso: Parking Minimums Hurt Housing Affordability

A blog about business and economics.
Oct. 19 2012 2:39 PM

David Grosso: Parking Minimums Hurt Housing Affordability

David Grosso

Official photo

Here's some wise words from David Grosso, who's running to unseat Michael Brown from the DC City Council, on the subject of regulatory parking minimums and affordable housing:

As you may know, there's a zoning update in the works, and one of the major changes would see the elimination of minimum parking requirements for residential buildings in transit zones. Do you support that?

I’m supportive of doing it based on the market. I think that if you have the transportation node right there, if you have the Metro right on top of it or you have a streetcar hub, for me, you can do less parking there.

I think it’s important that we embrace kind of the new modes of transportation in the District of Columbia. I was talking to one business owner, one apartment owner, who built this building, and he said, "We still have, after four years, 16 spaces that haven’t been even bought, for parking."  And it’s like, if that the reality near the Metros, then why should we require that simply just to increase the cost of living? If you want to make it more affordable, you’re going to have to continue to have priorities that do that.


A related issue is that there are often logistical constraints that simply make it impossible to add more parking to a project (it's hard to keep tunneling further and futher down) in which case parking minimums act as a de facto cap on the number of housing units you can fit on any given piece of land. It's true that other people who live nearby may be saddened by decreased street parking availability, but that needs to be weighed against the citywide interests that exist in communities all across America in more jobs, more housing availability, and a broader tax base. The country could use more local elected officials who think this way.

Matthew Yglesias is the executive editor of Vox and author of The Rent Is Too Damn High.


Medical Examiner

The Most Terrifying Thing About Ebola 

The disease threatens humanity by preying on humanity.

I Bought the Huge iPhone. I’m Already Thinking of Returning It.

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Students Aren’t Going to College Football Games as Much Anymore

And schools are getting worried.

Two Damn Good, Very Different Movies About Soldiers Returning From War

The XX Factor

Lifetime Didn’t Think the Steubenville Rape Case Was Dramatic Enough

So they added a little self-immolation.


Blacks Don’t Have a Corporal Punishment Problem

Americans do. But when blacks exhibit the same behaviors as others, it becomes part of a greater black pathology. 

Why a Sketch of Chelsea Manning Is Stirring Up Controversy

How Worried Should Poland, the Baltic States, and Georgia Be About a Russian Invasion?

Trending News Channel
Sept. 19 2014 1:11 PM Watch Flashes of Lightning Created in a Lab  
  News & Politics
Sept. 20 2014 11:13 AM -30-
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
Sept. 20 2014 7:27 AM How Do Plants Grow Aboard the International Space Station?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Slate Picks
Sept. 19 2014 12:00 PM What Happened at Slate This Week? The Slatest editor tells us to read well-informed skepticism, media criticism, and more.
Brow Beat
Sept. 20 2014 3:21 PM “The More You Know (About Black People)” Uses Very Funny PSAs to Condemn Black Stereotypes
Future Tense
Sept. 19 2014 6:31 PM The One Big Problem With the Enormous New iPhone
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 20 2014 7:00 AM The Shaggy Sun
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.