More parking mandates in new buildings in Cambridge

Real estate news

The city council has voted to end parking requirements on new developments, a reform that could increase the number of low-cost housing.

A section of Mass Ave in front of Clothware in Cambridge.

Cambridge City Council voted Monday night to scrap all minimum parking requirements for new buildings in the city, a major zoning reform that could reduce the number of new off-street parking spaces and – supporters hope – facilitate the construction of more housing at a lower cost.

Council voted 8 to 1 to remove the minimums, which have long required new developments to include a certain number of off-street parking spaces, determined by the number of units in the building. Now those mandates will disappear, although builders are free to include parking if they wish.

“You can build the same number of parking spaces yesterday as you do today,” said Burhan Azeem, one of the councilors behind the ordinance. “It just gives people a lot of flexibility.”

Councilman Dennis Carlone, who was the only voice of opposition, said the ordinance does not address parking maximums – a cap on the most parking spaces a new development can build – or traffic problems, according to Cambridge Day. Carlone could not immediately be reached for comment on Tuesday.

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