Arlington County has joined the ranks of jurisdictions that are adjusting parking requirements based on proximity to Metro stations.
This past Saturday, the Arlington County Board unanimously adopted guidelines that will govern the minimum parking requirements for new multi-family developments approved near Metro, standardizing what has become a typical practice of decreasing garage parking minimums in these areas.
While recent developments have been approved with required minimum parking provisions of 0.8 spaces per unit, the new minimum ratio for market-rate units will be anywhere from 0.2 to 0.6 spaces depending on the project’s distance from a Metro station. Visitor parking is recommended to be set at 0.05 spaces per unit for the first 200 units.
For units designated for households earning up to 50 or 60 percent of area median income, the parking ratio would be reduced further, set at a respective 50 and 70 percent of the market-rate requirement. Projects that include considerations like transit infrastructure, bike- and/or car-share on-site and other transportation demand management provisions beyond the minimum required may be able to reduce the minimum parking ratio by half.
Developments would also be allowed to utilize spaces at existing garages within 800 feet to satisfy parking requirements. For mixed-use developments, some flex parking spaces could be allowed to satisfy the needs of both residential and other uses.
The guidelines only apply to projects approved by special exception and also allow room for the Board to use its discretion in cases where it may seem that the current transit is unable to support increased usage or where additional transit incentives may be needed.
“These guidelines reflect the fact that the increase in transportation options in our Metro corridors means that some new developments will require less parking,” said Board Chair Jay Fisette. “It remains up to the Board, to approve the final parking ratio for each proposed project, based on the site-specific circumstances and the project’s characteristics.”