Major news for EaDo property owners as Houston City Council comes to the decision to exempt East Downtown (as well as parts of Midtown) from the citywide minimum off-street parking requirement. Before this decision, Downtown was the only location exempt. With the expanding popularity of Uber, Lyft and the proximity of the MetroRail in EaDo, it gave a compelling reason for exemptions.
The parking requirements were originally implemented in 1989 with ratios dependent upon the type of business and building. Offices were required to 2.5 parking spots per 1,000 square feet, banks required to provide four spaces for the same square footage, a two-bedroom apartment unit requires 1.66 spaces, single-family homes two spaces and restaurants providing eight to 10 spaces per 1,000 square feet. These requirements made it less appealing for people looking to buy property and small business owners struggling to keep up.
The only vote in opposition came from councilmember Greg Travis voicing concerns for Houstonians that aren’t in proximity to these locations which can cause a loss in traffic for businesses. However, with several new people moving into these areas both management districts of EaDo and Midtown are confident in the new exemptions, citing support from their engaged community members and a year’s worth of community input.