Sacramento To Try Letting Developers Build Parking Spaces If They Want To, But Not Otherwise

A blog about business and economics.
Nov. 19 2012 3:10 PM

Sacramento To Try Letting Developers Build Parking Spaces If They Want To, But Not Otherwise

A great victory for good sense in Sacramento as the approve some sweeping reforms to the city's parking regulations that will let builders build less parking if they think that would be more profitable, but more parking if they think that would be more profitable.

It's amazing what a radical idea this is:

The parking changes come with a risk, especially in parts of downtown and midtown where street parking is often hard to find. It means there will be more people, but not many more parking spots.
City officials say they think they can manage that risk. The new rules allow businesses to build more parking than required, if they choose to, planners note. And in some commercial and downtown areas, parking officials say they hope to sign agreements with private parking lot owners to allow drivers to park in underused lots during both day and night.
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For the sake of comparison, if new homes and offices come to downtown Sacramento there's clearly a "risk" that lunch places will get crowded leading to long lines and high prices. The solution, obviously, is that if demand for lunch rises people will open more restaurants. You don't need to legally require that new development come with sandwich shops attached. That's just going to create a glut and deter development.

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

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