Climate Action Plan - Measure T-2.4

Shared and Reduced Parking in
New Non-Residential Development

This measure requires shared or reduced parking for all new non-residential development to reduce new commute vehicle miles traveled by 10% by 2030. The County will update the Zoning Ordinance to require shared parking facilities for new non-residential development that employ staggered parking demands at different times of day. The updated Zoning Ordinance will also reduce standard parking requirements for employee parking, and establish minimum requirements for carpool/vanpool, shuttle, and electric-vehicle-only parking spaces.
  • 2020: Amendments to Zoning Ordinance parking regulations in development
  • 2030 Metric: Reduce new non-residential commute vehicle miles traveled (VMT) by 10% by 2030

Where are we going?

The County Planning and Development Services Department is developing the scope of changes needed to the County Zoning Ordinance to facilitate vehicle miles traveled reductions through shared and reduced parking. Amendments to the parking regulations will reduce the spaces that must be provided – typically defined as the number of spaces required per thousand square feet of building area – for new non-residential projects. New regulations will also allow for more sharing of parking spaces between land use types with different and complimentary parking demands. For example, businesses open at night can share parking spaces with offices open during the day cutting the amount of spaces needed to serve both by almost half. 

How is this measured?

This measure assumes that the percent reduction of vehicle miles traveled (VMT) equals half the percentage of parking spaces removed below the baseline demand. As such, to achieve the 10% reduction of VMT, there must be a 20% reduction in parking spaces at new non-residential land uses within the unincorporated county. The measure will result in seven million less vehicle miles traveled in 2030, equal to avoiding 1,446 metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions.

Why is this important?

Most parking spaces are only used part-time and a significant portion of many parking facilities in the unincorporated county remain underutilized. Shared parking allows parking facilities to be used more efficiently by sharing spaces with more than one user. Overall, reducing the amount of required parking spaces for a newly built commercial building means more of the site can be occupied by active uses instead of servicing vacant parking spaces. By putting less emphasis on providing accommodations for automobiles, workplaces and commercial areas will become more friendly and comfortable for people using transit, traveling by foot, or biking. Co-benefits of this measure include improvements in air quality, public health, increased active transportation mobility, and cost savings.