News / Edmonton

City councillors back plan for less parking at future housing developments

The plan would require developers to only accommodate one street-parking space when building homes

Edmonton plans to build dense communities like Blatchford, which is pictured.

Courtesy / City of Edmonton

Edmonton plans to build dense communities like Blatchford, which is pictured.

As Edmonton’s inner city becomes denser, city officials are betting future residents won’t require two street-parking stalls in front of their homes.

Backed by some city councilors Wednesday, Edmonton proposed a plan at the urban planning committee that would reduce the number of street parking spots that developers must accommodate when building houses.

The changes — which need final approval when it goes to public hearing next month — would only require one street-parking stall when builders construct homes. Currently, developers are required to allow at least two stalls.

Staff said the reduction would lessen construction costs and allow for more diverse housing options.

Gary Hoeft, a construction manager with a home building company, agreed with staff. He said it could help developers save up to $10,000 on a $400,000 home.

“We’re finding that people don’t want a second car,” Hoeft said. “We’re finding the expansion of transit is meeting people’s needs.”

But Coun. Scott McKeen raised concerns with the changes.

He said the city might be lacking analysis on understanding how the change would affect neighbourhoods.

“I think there’s a potential gap here in some areas. I’m not saying the entire city,” he said. “I’m a little worried this will cause a rumpus unnecessarily.”

But staff argued the change would be gradual, as the rules won’t apply to current properties.

“The parking spaces that are there now won’t be going away,” said Anne Stevenson, a principal planner with the City of Edmonton

Mayor Don Iveson agreed.

“Longer term, it will have an impact,” he said. “But I think that’s OK. I think that’s the aspiration for city building. Infill will occur and more of it will occur. I think there will be a trend to lower car ownership.”

He said if conflicts arise, issues would be mitigated by better transportation and implementing time restrictions for street parking.

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