Downtown parking changes get nod in first reading
Seaside took a step Monday to eliminate the parking requirement for certain types of residential uses above ground floor commercial uses in the city’s downtown core.
Acting on a recommendation from the Planning Commission, the council considered the measure to make workforce housing more economical for developers and provide more affordable housing for tenants.
“There’s been a push to look at creating opportunities to allow the second story of the downtown core areas to allow for residential uses,” Community Development Director Kevin Cupples said.
Mayor Jay Barber said the ordinance was in response to the council goal to provide more workforce housing, particularly in the core area. “This is a step toward that as well.”
Ordinance 2020-03 creates a new zoning definition for “dwelling, residential-over-commercial,” a dwelling unit of one bedroom or less, located above a commercial establishment.
The current ordinance requires two parking spaces per dwelling unit for all types of apartments, multifamily dwellings and conventional detached dwellings.
This will bring parking requirements similar to surrounding communities, Cupples said. “That would be one parking space for a studio apartment, for a one-bedroom it would be 1.25, and for a two-bedroom, it would be 1.5 parking spaces per unit.”
The ordinance seeks to reduce regulatory hurdles associated with developing workforce rental housing and promote more efficient use of land within the city. The measure is based on discussion and public comment from the Planning Commission, which undertook the ordinance in October.
Council member Tita Montero showed concern whether residents would be exempt from three-hour limits in the downtown parking zone.
Steve Wright called the ordinance a “first step. A lot of this still has to go back to the Planning Commission afterwards,” he said. “They can work out things like parking tags, where to park, and how to keep the streets clear so the street sweepers can go through. I think it’s time to get this done, moving forward.”
The Planning Commission could address parking when applicants come in for development, Cupples said. “If someone went in to propose it, it would be up for review,” he said.
Montero was the sole vote against the change, seeking greater guidance in parking rules. “I’m uncomfortable not knowing what the expectations are of people living in those units.”
“We can’t put everything in an ordinance to address every situation,” Wright said. “I think this is the right step to make.”
Following the first reading, the ordinance will be scheduled for a public hearing and second reading at the March 9 meeting. The new parking rules could go to a third reading and final adoption on March 23.