Parking up the Right Tree: A Review of Parking Requirements for New Development
The Planning and Housing Committee recently considered a report regarding the Proposed Review of Parking Requirements for New Development in the City of Toronto (the “City”). This report responds to a need to update the zoning by-law regulations, which have not been reviewed since 2013, when Zoning By-law 569-2013 (the “By-law”) was adopted. Since then, the push for Transit Oriented Development (“TOD”) and Transit Oriented Communities (“TOC”) have sparked a demand to revaluate the way that land is currently used in the City and the modal future of our communities.
Straying away from the previous principle of establishing a minimum amount of parking per given land use, the City is instead proposing to establish a maximum amount of parking to increase efficiency in the development process. While the objective is to establish new maximums, parking minimums would remain for some requirements, such as accessible parking spaces.
Overview of the Proposed Review
The City will be conducting their review in 3 phases.
Phase 1 will focus on:
- Grouping land uses into categories with similar parking needs to reduce the number of different parking requirements;
- Developing new parking policy area boundaries near transit facilities and higher order transit to maximize the area of influence; and
- Developing an approach to adjust parking requirements automatically without requiring a zoning by-law amendment when new transit infrastructure is introduced to the area.
Primarily, the areas that will experience an increased use of maximums, and a reduction or total elimination of minimums, will be policy areas that are located near transit facilities and higher order transit. All other areas will still see a reduction in minimums, but will not be subject to imposed maximums. Further, the City will be looking at whether there is a need to increase visitor parking requirements, and potentially adjusting the calculations for required accessible parking to maintain their current levels.
Phase 2 will include:
- Developing language in the By-law that will create a requirement for new parking spaces to be Electric-Vehicle ready, as current requirements do not provide sufficient space to accommodate charging equipment;
- Considering developing parking supply guidelines for City-led developments; and
- Identifying other mobility infrastructure that will be required if parking requirements are reduced or removed.
Last, Phase 3 will conclude with:
- Identifying other parking policies or regulations that will need to be revised along with the proposed changes to the By-law; and
- Developing a monitoring program to measure the effectiveness of the By-law and identify areas where further parking enforcement is needed.
As this is a timely review, City staff have been asked to report back by the end of the year with recommendations. Engagement with stakeholders will be a key part of the project and will be happening during most of the year. Public and stakeholder consultation on Phases 1 and 2 are planned to begin in April/May 2021, followed by consultation on draft conclusions in September 2021, with the Final Report and Zoning By-law Amendment going to Council in November 2021.
During this review, other parking related work such as the Toronto Green Standards review and the Expanding Housing Options in Neighbourhoods will be reviewed and aligned with the City’s findings.
We will continue to monitor and provide updates on the Parking Requirements for New Developments review as it progresses. A presentation from City staff on the review is available here.