Governor Newsom Signs Historic Parking Bill

On September 22nd, Governor Newsom signed AB 2097, a bill by Assemblymember Laura Friedman (Glendale), which prohibits local governments from enforcing minimum parking requirements on new housing, commercial development, and other projects within a half mile of transit. In signing the bill, the Governor said housing policy is climate policy and that by promoting denser more affordable homes near transit it will both lower the cost of housing and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Check out the Governor’s announcement here.

Studies have shown that in many cases new developments have been overparked. A recent study from San Jose State found that in the Bay Area there are 15 million parking spaces, or about 2.4 spaces for every registered vehicle. The Terner Center for Housing Innovation released a report that analyzed data from the Low Income Housing Tax Credit program, which found that parking requirements can add $36,000 to the cost of each unit of affordable housing.

It is important to note that AB 2097 does not eliminate parking for new development. Rather, it prohibits jurisdictions from setting arbitrary off-street parking requirements. Additionally, the bill would allow localities to impose minimum parking requirements if they can show that the city’s ability to address its affordable housing needs would be negatively impacted.