On Thursday, September 22nd, Governor Newsom signed into law Assembly Bill 2097, authored by Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-Glendale). AB 2097 abolishes parking requirements within one half mile of major transit stops, meaning developers will no longer be required to build any pre-set minimum number of parking spaces per a residential unit or per square foot of commercial developments.
“I’ve been working on this for two years now, and I’m grateful to Governor Newsom for his support of this transformative bill. Mandatory parking requirements worsen California’s severe housing shortage by raising the cost of housing production. On average, a garage costs $24 -$34,000 per space to build, and an underground parking space costs $50-$65,000 to build. These costs get passed onto individuals and families, even if they don’t own or cannot drive a car,” said Assemblymember Laura Friedman. “San Diego eliminated minimum parking requirements in Transit Priority areas in April 2019. In 2020, the city saw a more than four times increase in affordable housing units produced.”
“California YIMBY is proud to stand with Governor Newsom as we advance a vision of affordability and climate resilience for all Californians,” said Brian Hanlon, CEO of California YIMBY. “We also wish to extend our deep gratitude to Assemblymember Laura Friedman for her dedication and our legislative co-sponsors with SPUR, the Council of Infill Builders, the Bay Area Council, and Abundant Housing LA.”
“Eliminating excessive, arbitrary and costly parking mandates near transit is key to creating greater housing affordability, transit ridership and walkable neighborhoods while reducing carbon emissions from vehicles. AB 2097 unlocks this potential and will help us build our communities in a healthier, safer and more humane way. We are very grateful to Asssemblymember Friedman for her strong commitment to this impactful policy,” said Michael Lane, State Policy Director at SPUR.
“Addressing California’s historic housing crisis requires transformative action, and Assemblymember Laura Friedman’s AB 2097, which we were proud to co-sponsor, delivers by ending unnecessary and onerous parking requirements,” said Jim Wunderman, President and CEO of the Bay Area Council. “We applaud Governor Newsom for signing this important legislation to make housing more plentiful, more affordable and greener. And we thank Assemblymember Friedman for her tireless housing leadership.”
“Parking requirements increase the cost of housing, and encourage car use, which drives up greenhouse gas emissions. AB 2097, which is at the nexus of both housing and climate policy, makes sense for state goals to decrease
housing costs and pollution,” said Leonora Camner, Executive Director of Abundant Housing LA. “As a mom, I’m glad the state is prioritizing a safer, greener, and more affordable future.”
“California is finally valuing homes over excess car storage when it comes to new development near transit. AB 2097 is a first in the nation, statewide approach to ending boilerplate local mandates on parking,” said Meea Kang, Director Council of Infill Builders. “Cities that have taken this same step and have seen significant increased housing production, including affordable units, helping to address our dire housing shortage, especially in high opportunity transit-friendly communities. We are thrilled their approach is finally going statewide. We thank our co-sponsors, the governor, tireless advocates across the state, and assembly member Friedman for carrying the bill.”
“AB 2097 is going to revitalize commercial districts throughout California by removing what has become perhaps the major barrier to opening or expanding small restaurant and retail businesses. AB2097 will also help make outdoor dining a permanent fixture in more neighborhoods than ever before,” added Mott Smith, Chairman of the Council of Infill Builders. “California will once again be able to build new commercial districts that are as walkable and human-scaled as the historic places we love.”
Under AB 2097, projects within a ½ mile of a major transit stop would no longer be required by local governments to include a minimum number of parking spaces for every residential unit or commercial business built. The bill does not prohibit developers from providing the parking spaces they believe are needed to meet market demand, or that lenders will require. Rather, the bill gives homebuilders the flexibility to build projects that meet the needs of each neighborhood and the specific demographics of each project, instead of limiting them to a one-size-fits-all approach and creating unnecessary costs.
The provisions of AB 2097 will go into effect on January 1, 2023.