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Help us explore options for how much parking is provided with new homes and businesses.

Why We're Reviewing the Rules

Many of the zoning rules that determine the minimum number of on-site parking spaces homes and businesses must have were put in place in the 1970s.

Edmonton has changed considerably since then, and the rules need to be updated to make sure they make sense for Edmonton today and where we want to go in the future. Click on the dots in the infographic below to learn more.

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Tap on hotspots to learn more.

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Open Option Parking

On January 28, 2020, City Council directed Administration to proceed with the preparation of Zoning Bylaw changes to enable Open Option Parking in one step across the city. These changes are targeted to go to City Council Public Hearing on June 23, 2020 for a decision. This date is subject to change given the evolving COVID-19 situation. If approved by Council at the June 23 Public Hearing, these proposed changes will take effect at a later date, to be determined.

Open Option Parking will remove minimum on-site parking requirements from the Zoning Bylaw, allowing homeowners and businesses to decide how much on-site parking to provide. The move to open option parking will provide homeowners and businesses with more choice about how they use their property. 

This approach is also more likely to result in the ‘right amount’ of on-site parking, as businesses and landowners know their parking needs best and have an interest in ensuring they are met.  While this change will be transformative, it will also be gradual as the new rules will only come into effect as sites are developed or redeveloped across the city in the decades ahead.

Parking Regulation Options

There are  3 main ways to regulate the amount of on-site parking provided with new homes and businesses. As explained below, each of these approaches influences the way our city looks and how we get around.

Minimum Parking Requirements

Minimum parking requirements Graphic

The City determines a set number of spaces that must be provided.

  • Lots of parking spaces are provided
  • Supports driving but can limit walking as large parking lots can take up a lot of space, making neighbourhoods more spread out
  • Homeowners and businesses have less choice
Open Option Parking

Open Parking Option GraphicBusinesses and homeowners can choose the amount of parking they provide.

  • A range of parking spaces can be provided
  • Supports both driving and walking
  • Homeowners and businesses have more choice
     
Maximum parking requirements

Maximum Parking Requirements Graphic

The City sets a limit on the number of parking spaces that can be provided

  • A restricted number of parking spaces are provided
  • Supports walking but can limit driving
  • Homeowners and businesses have less choice
     

Assessment of Options

To understand which approach to regulating on-site parking (minimum parking requirements, Open Option Parking or maximum parking requirements) would be best for Edmonton, the City conducted two studies:

  • A survey to better understand Edmontonians’ perspectives and preferences related to parking
  • A technical study that looked at how existing parking spaces in Edmonton are being used

Public Engagement

Public events and online opportunities will allow residents, communities, businesses, and industry representatives to provide input throughout the process.

Public Engagement Activities, History and Reports

Stay Informed

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Project Stages

The review is being undertaken in four phases and is currently in Phase 4.

Phase 4

City Council Decision (Summer 2020)

Zoning Bylaw changes needed to introduce one-step open option parking (where homeowners and businesses can decide how much on-site parking to provide) are targeted to go to City Council Public Hearing on June 23, 2020 for a decision. This date is subject to change given the evolving COVID-19 situation.

Overview of proposed changes
The proposed changes will be based on Scenario One of the January 28, 2020 Urban Planning Committee Report CR_7229, Open Option Parking Implementation, with some minor additional revisions to:

  • Define how minimum bicycle and barrier free parking requirements should be calculated
  • Better enable shared parking between developments
  • Ensure open option parking is included in The Quarters area  
  • Consider Transportation Demand Management (TDM) criteria within a broader policy context
  • Update formatting, numbering, grammar, and punctuation 

The proposed zoning bylaw changes to improve the current on-site parking regulatory structure identified in Attachment 3 of the January 28, 2020 Urban Planning Committee meeting (item 6.2) will also advance to the June 23, 2020 Public Hearing. These changes include, but are limited to, introducing the ability for businesses and homes to share on-site parking spaces and improving the design requirements for parking lots. 

Edmontonians and stakeholders will have a final opportunity to express their opinions about the proposed changes directly with members of Council by registering to speak at the Public Hearing.

If new rules are approved by Council, the changes to on-site parking for homes and businesses will happen gradually over time as new buildings are built and properties in the city are redeveloped.

Phase 3 - Complete

Phase 3 - Complete 
Urban Planning Committee (Spring 2019)

City Administration presented a report to the May 7, 2019 Urban Planning Committee outlining options for regulating on-site parking, and the results of the research and public input on each of these options.  

At that meeting, Committee directed Administration to advance the implementation of Open Option Parking (where homeowners and businesses can decide how much on-site parking to provide), as well as the opportunities identified in Attachment 6 of the report to improve the current on-site parking regulatory structure. These changes include, but are limited to, introducing the ability for businesses and homes to share on-site parking spaces and improving the design requirements for parking lots.

Committee also directed Administration to return with a report that provided:

  • Implementation scenarios that consider a one-step and/or phased approach to changing the on-site parking regulations
  • A comprehensive review of the on-street parking implications of changing on-site parking rules, and
  • Further research on predictors of parking demand

This report was presented to Urban Planning Committee on January 28, 2020 (items 6.2 and 6.3). Committee directed Administration to bring Zoning Bylaw amendments for Scenario One (Full one-step implementation of Open Option Parking), to the June 23, 2020, City Council Public Hearing (Phase 4). This date is subject to change given the evolving COVID-19 situation.

Phase 2 - Complete

Phase 2
Phase 2A - Parking Trade Offs & Outcomes (Fall 2018)

When it comes to parking, there are often trade-offs between the amount of available parking, the cost of homes and businesses, and the ability to walk to destinations in your neighbourhood.

Edmontonians had an opportunity to provide input on these trade-offs through a series of focus groups, an online survey, and pop-up events.  Feedback received was used to help inform different options for regulating how much on-site parking is provided with new homes and businesses.

A technical study looking at how existing parking in Edmonton is currently used was also completed in Phase 1.

View the public engagement results and technical study.

Phase 2B - Draft Regulation Options (Winter 2019)

The technical studies, policy, best practice research, and public input on parking priorities and tradeoffs from Phase 2A informed a draft recommendation report released in February 2019 outlining three different options for regulating on-site parking. Edmontonians had the chance to provide input on the draft report through an online survey, which was summarized in a What We Heard report.

Based on the feedback, City Administration made revisions to the draft report.  The revised report was presented at the May 7, 2019 Urban Planning Committee meeting (Phase 3).

Phase 1 - Complete

Phase 1
Collecting and Analyzing Data (Winter - Summer  2018)

To ensure that any changes to on-site parking required for new homes and businesses were made using an evidence-based and data-driven approach, the City conducted extensive research. 
 
This research included: 

  • Conducting a technical study on how existing on-site parking for homes and businesses in Edmonton is being used
  • Analyzing how that usage aligns with current City policy and parking needs
  • Reviewing parking best practices and academic research
  • Researching the experience and policies of other municipalities

View the parking supply and demand study results.

For More Information

James Veltkamp

Title Planner, Zoning Bylaw
Telephone

780-944-0222

Email james.veltkamp@edmonton.ca

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