As mentioned in a previous post, opponents of micro-housing have a legitimate concern that new developments may change the character of their neighborhood. Not all their complaints are fair though.

The most emotional and misguided attacks on micro-housing are related to parking. Many opponents of micro-housing criticize developments because they think more parking should be built. It’s often stated that each resident should have a parking space.

We discussed previously why parking creates a housing cost problem. There is also a fair amount of research on this (a comprehensive review and a local study). As a city, we can make a choice to require buildings to have more parking. If we make that choice, someone will pay for it. In the case of residential buildings this cost is passed to the residents. If aPodments must have parking, aPodment residents will pay for that parking. In short, requiring parking is the same as increasing the cost of housing.

It should not be the policy of the city to ensure parking by forcing people to pay more for housing. Most importantly, the city should not protect some residents free parking by increasing the cost of other people’s housing.

I would make the modest suggestion that if neighborhoods are worried there will be a shortage of parking, they could avoid this problem by increasing the cost of curb parking or paying to build parking rather than increasing other residents housing costs.

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Owen Pickford holding a beer, wearing a Sounders shirt in front of a bridge, river and large towers in Tokyo.
Owen Pickford

Owen is a solutions engineer for a software company. He has an amateur interest in urban policy, focusing on housing. His primary mode is a bicycle but isn't ashamed of riding down the hill and taking the bus back up. Feel free to tweet at him: @pickovven.