This column is written as correspondence between Devon the Developer and Byron the Bicyclist.
Dear Byron the Bicyclist.
Recently the B.C. government passed legislation allowing for three to six dwellings on a building lot, depending on the size.
Byron, I would like to redevelop some lots I own but the expense of providing parking for so many units will become a problem. I could charge the cost of the parking space separate from rent.
Any ideas, Byron?
Signed; Devon the Developer
Yes, I can think of a few options. The first is to check what the city requirements are. Partly due to the pressure to provide more housing, many cities are reducing the required parking spots from 1.25 spaces per unit to less than one. The availability of nearby transit is one consideration.
There are other ways of getting around too. If the place isn’t far from shopping, residents can walk, bike or take transit.
Toronto architect Lloyd Alter discusses this in an interview with Fine Homebuilding magazine (October 2023). He is fortunate to live in an area that still has street cars. To reduce our impact on the planet, he says we should stop driving now, an option in bigger cities. Besides public transit, he believes cargo ebikes together with bike lanes fills the need that vehicles currently provide.
The real estate website Zillow will give you a walk and bike score. Our place on Windmill Crescent gives me a walking score of 40 of 100 and a bike score of 25 out of 100. Places closer to downtown have higher scores.
Parking requirements can be negotiated. If your transit, walk and bike score are higher than average, less parking is an option.
Signed; Byron the Bicyclist
Bert Groenenberg has been walking, cycling and driving in Williams Lake for over 30 years.