Last year’s AB 710 was resurrected this year during the gut-and-amend process, emerging as AB 904. Like last year, the bill was strongly opposed by local government organizations and officials. Like last year, it died.
The bill would create a one-size-fits-all approach to parking requirements near transit zones. The plan would have required one parking space for each residential unit, regardless of the size of the residence. For large, multiple-residents locations, that could have led to a dearth of parking. Similarly, the plan would have only required half as much parking for low-income developments.
Proponents of both AB 710 and 904 are still looking to reform how the local agencies approach their parking standards.
The California Infill Builders Federation was one of the supporters of those pieces of legislation.
“I’ve heard from countless cities that they want to fix their 60-year-old parking requirements, but they don’t have the money, the staff or the political will to take this on by themselves,” said CIBF Board Member Mott Smith. “Next year’s version of AB 904 will give them tools to grow much more sustainably and affordably, without creating an onerous State mandate.”
Smith, the CIBF, and Assembly member Nancy Skinner had numerous conversations with local government groups to try to improve the legislation.
“We began working with the League of Cities, APA on parking issues last year.” Continued Smith. “There is near universal agreement that our parking minimums around transit need work.”
Those conversations were acknowledged by the League of California Cities in a recent news update sent to members. However, despite the collaborative meetings, the League remained opposed to AB 904 and kept it on its list of ‘Hot Bills’ that it tracked.
In a letter sent to Ms. Skinner’s office, the League said that it, “strongly opposes AB 904, which seeks to prevent communities from providing sufficient parking to address neighborhood conditions by prescribing parking standards on a statewide basis.”
It went on to explain the basis of their opposition. “The standards in this legislation reflect the developers’ desires rather than planning experience or research. This bill would trump local government control and instead hand authority to developers with a financial motive to determine a neighborhood’s best interest.”