Over the past several years, the City has completed a number projects to update off-street parking regulations in the Zoning Bylaw for Religious Assemblies, Low-density Residential, Eating and Drinking Establishments, Child Care Services, Main Streets, and Transit Nodes.
Expanding Areas Around Transit to Qualify for Parking Reductions
At the September 11, 2017 City Council Public Hearing, City Council approved Bylaw 18171 (Item 5.3) - a bylaw to create lower vehicle and bicycle parking requirements for properties that are close to LRT Stations, Transit Centres, and in main street areas for both residential and commercial uses.
Some changes to the Zoning Bylaw include:
- Introduction of a new Parking Schedule 1C for transit and main street areas
- Reduces the minimum parking requirement for all eating and drinking establishments across the city
- Creates a new definition for bicycle parking, and substantially changes the development regulations for bicycle parking facilities
- Doubles the ratio of minimum bicycle parking to vehicular parking to correspond with the halved vehicle parking requirements.
Parking Requirements for Low-density Residential Uses
Reducing parking requirements for Single Detached Housing, Semi-detached Housing, Duplex Housing, Mobile Homes (excluding Mobile Home Parks) from a minimum of two parking spaces to a minimum of one parking space. Row housing, Secondary Suites and Garden Suites will also require one parking space per dwelling.
Parking for Eating & Drinking Establishments (Pilot Project)
City Council directed City staff to reduce parking for eating and drinking establishments in three pilot areas (Jasper Avenue west of 109 Street, Whyte Avenue, and 124th Street).
Parking for Religious Assemblies
The previous method of determining the minimum parking requirement for Religious Assembly uses had several limitations.
Parking was required at a rate of one space for every four seats, posing a challenge for Religious Assemblies that do not use seating in their worship space. The seating requirement also did not take into consideration the full footprint of the building, which may include gathering space for large events such as weddings. A further limitation was that a single rate applies citywide, despite different development patterns and parking rates in different areas of the city.
In order to establish new parking rates that would address these challenges, City staff looked to the current parking provision in Edmonton’s existing Religious Assemblies. This approach provided a detailed understanding of parking provision and how it varies between different locations in the city and various sizes of assembly. This data was used to establish a minor and major size threshold for Religious Assemblies and a context specific parking rate for each of Edmonton’s distinct neighbourhood type (including the Central Core, Mature, Established, Industrial and New neighbourhoods).
Reducing Barriers to Child Care Services
The review of these regulations were not specific to parking, but parking was identified as a barrier to developing more child care services. The parking requirement was based on the number of employees and children, not on floor area like most other non-residential uses. This caused issues with permitting because a change to the ages of children in their care in turn changed the number of employees required by provincial regulation, and as a result, the parking requirement would also need to be adjusted.
The text amendment changed the parking requirement from employees and children to floor area, aiming to result in the same number of spaces provided. It also allowed pick-up and drop-off spaces to be provided on-street where appropriate. And it allowed a reduced parking rate when adjacent to transit.