Downtown developers may soon get the option of not having to include a parking garage in their projects.
City Hall is considering a parking impact fee, or “in-lieu-of fee,” in which a developer will contribute a certain amount of money to a parking fund in lieu of constructing their own parking structures.
That parking fund would be used to pay for the construction of new downtown parking garages.
The in-lieu-of fee under discussion right now would be $12,000 per parking space.
For any new or improvement project of more than 10,000 square feet downtown, zoning code requires the creation of one parking space per 500 square feet, one space per dwelling unit or one space for every two hotel rooms.
For example, a 100,000-square-foot office building would need to include 200 parking spaces.
The in-lieu-of fee could save that project more than $1 million. At $17,000 per space, which is what the Palm Avenue parking garage cost, the developer would pay $3.4 million.
With the in-lieu-of fee option, the developer would pay $12,000 per space, or $2.4 million.
To qualify, the project would have to be within a quarter-mile of a public parking garage, such as the Palm Avenue garage or Second Street garage at Whole Foods.
City Hall would determine if there are enough spaces in the public garage to accommodate the project — 200 spaces in the example above.
If it qualifies, the developer would pay the in-lieu-of fee and the monthly $40 parking permit for each public garage space, which could be passed on to business tenants, employees or residents.
Steve Stancel, chief planner for the city, said the new option could be particularly attractive for redevelopment projects in tight spaces.
“Some sites may not have enough room for their own parking, so this option could be helpful,” he said.
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