Yesterday I looked at some of the changes being made to the residential zones in the Unitary Plan. For those interested, Anne Hartley’s amendments were discussed yesterday but haven’t been voted on yet.  That should happen today after the councillors cover off some urban design issues. Council staff said they agreed with some of the proposed amendments but not some of the key ones like the removal of the unlimited density provisions on the Mixed Housing Suburban Zone.

Today I am going to look at an issue we have been very passionate about, Minimum Parking Requirements (MPRs). Generation Zero have helpfully put together many of the arguments against retaining minimum parking requirements into one easily understood graphic:

Binthemins-FB-01 copyWe strongly criticised the Draft Unitary Plan released in March for retaining parking minimums across the vast majority of Auckland, although recognising that the removal of minimums in some locations was certainly a step in the right direction. Just as a quick refresher, we looked at the parking minimums proposed in this post.

Since the feedback on the Draft Unitary Plan was received it seems like Council has done a bit more thinking about fine-tuning its approach to parking regulation – especially in line with the splitting of the Mixed Housing Zone into “Urban” and “Suburban” zones. The updated parking rules are available on the Council’s website now. So is a draft of what’s called the “Section 32 report“, which basically forms the justification for the different rules and regulations included on a topic in the Unitary Plan.

The main change to the parking regulations appears to have occurred in the former Mixed Housing Zone, with quite a complex arrangement of maximums and minimums now applying in the two parts of that zone – varying by the number of bedrooms per household unit. Previously developments in the mixed housing zone (that did not have the parking overlay) required a minimum of 1 carpark per for each studio or single bedroom dwelling or a minimum of 2 carparks for two or more bedroom dwellings. The new proposed rules are below:

mixed-housing-parkingIt is a small step in the right direction to see that in the Mixed Housing Urban zone, the minimum rate will only be one per dwelling and no longer two (as was previously proposed for anything more than a 1 bedroom unit). It’s also a step in the right direction to see that for two bedroom units in the Mixed Housing Suburban Zone, the minimums parking requirement has been reduced from two spaces to one. Often two bedroom places are occupied by households unlikely to even own two cars (could be a single parent, a young couple, a retiree etc.) so forcing two parking spaces per unit would be really stupid. Furthermore, forcing two parking spaces per unit in zones where a variety of building typologies are anticipated (terraced housing etc.) is likely to lead to some pretty ugly urban outcomes – as Patrick illustrated a few months ago:

I don’t really think that this is the kind of building type the Unitary Plan is trying to achieve.

Of course the changes haven’t been perfect. I suspect imposing any minimum in the Mixed Housing Urban zone as well as retaining a minimum of two spaces per unit for larger houses in the Mixed Housing Suburban zone probably generates much more economic cost than it generates benefit. Also it seems that parking minimums have been reintroduced in a few outer centres like Warkworth and Helensville – which is pretty strange as their main streets tend not to have individual off-street parking at the moment.

This is a timely issue as Councillor Cameron Brewer has put forward an amendment to be discussed today to do the exact opposite. He is proposing not only increasing the minimums in both the mixed housing zones back to the level in the original plan but is wanting the same levels applied in the the terraced house and apartment zone.

“That in the Townhouse And Apartment Building Zone, there be a minimum parking requirement of at least one car-park per dwelling of two or more bedrooms, and in both the Mixed Housing Urban and Suburban zones there be a minimum of one park for studios and I bedrooms as is proposed, and at least two car-parks as a minimum for any new dwelling two bedrooms or more (not three bedrooms as is proposed) to help mitigate increasing car numbers and on-street parking problems.”

What is interesting is earlier in the day before he proposed this amendment he asked about the impacts the proposed parking rules would have on on-street parking. He wanted to know what Auckland Transport’s thoughts were and he was told that not only do AT not have an issue with what is proposed but that the fully support it. So despite being told that issues with on-street parking can be managed and won’t be a problem, he still goes and proposes an amendment trying to do the opposite. Why is it that the Councillors who claim to advocate for property rights reducing red tape and leaving as much as possible to the private sector to manage are the ones that then go and try and do the opposite by putting in place restrictive rules like height limits and MPRs that act to distort the market and prevent it from working properly.

Hopefully not only will Brewers amendment be voted down but an enlightened Councillor put up an amendment to remove parking minimums from the Mixed Housing zones entirely, to ensure that we can achieve good quality developments and affordable housing in this zone.

Update: Cameron Brewers amendment was defeated emphatically with only him, Sharon Stewart and John Walker supporting the proposal.

Michael Goudie proposed his own amendment to reduce them further but sadly that was also lost – but by a closer margin 7-10

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  1. He wants Parking Minimums “to help mitigate increasing car numbers“? Huh?

    It is hard to remain measured in response to this absurd claim by Brewer; parking supply generates traffic, brings drivers to an area, encourages car use over more use of alternatives. It is completely impossible ‘to help mitigate increasing car numbers’ by encouraging increasing car numbers.

    The man is clearly very dim.

  2. I like how the graphic suggests that my 3 bedroom unit is currently half the size of my garage. I could have swarm that just my living room was larger than my garage but apparently not.

    Its also interesting to suggest we will all get a choice without the minimums. Correct me if I’m wrong however I’m rather certain that most people aren’t property developers and each house we move into we build and customise from scratch.

    1. Once again I am not quite sure I understand your point.

      Yes, when people build and customise their house from scratch they will be able to choose whether to have parking or not. What’s the problem with that approach? Do you not support people having the choice to do what they want with their own land? Do you think the Council should dictate to people how they should build their house?

      Surely any other view puts you on the loony left verging on the dreaded “Socialist”!!!

      1. As eluded to above the vast majority of people do not build and customise their own town houses and medium density developments. In most cases they are purchased by wealthy folk who don’t even live in them and are then rented out to people who have little choice in where they live due to their being a huge housing shortage.

        The end result is what we see today with people having no choice to park in what should be urban spaces with pedestrains being the focus rather than the parking cars for the local residents.

        I would be more in favour of a revision of the rules rather than the complete removal.

        1. People have a choice of where to rent, and presumably many would prefer to rent a cheaper place where they don’t have to cover the very significant cost of underground or surface parking? Particularly where the revised rules want to force multiple parking spaces per unit.

          If you have an issue with people parking in urban spaces then the answer is simple, a tin of dotted yellow paint.

        2. Ah the same story as always Nick where there is apparently a massive oversupply of housing we can all easily find our dream home in the right location at the right price.

          And of course it’s always super easy to remove a valuable community asset which through our very own short sighted planning rules made onstreet parking a necessity rather than an expensive luxury.

          It’s interesting how on one hand we are told that for most people taking PT to work is currently not an option as some people need to wait 15mins for a bus yet apparently we all have the easy option to build our own $1million home where we want and how we want other than the fact we only want 1 carpark for our 4 bedroom unit.

        3. SF Lauren, you make it sound like someone is proposing to ban or cap parking in suburban areas – not true.
          Under the GenZero proposed rule, a suburban developer will be free to provide between zero parks and a million for their development. In reality developers will build what there is a market for (subject to planning rules).

          And for the space they take up, it’s not just the square meterage of the parking spaces themselves, it’s also the square meterage of the part of the carpark you use to drive to and from any carpark – which usually is about the same area as the parks themselves again.

          To provide an example that relates to your point, one parking space and its share of the carpark that provides access to that space is more than the size of the average bedroom.

        4. You do know what developers do don’t you Andrew? They are not the pinnacle of moral ethics but rather some of the most self centred individuals you can find that go to great lengths to provide the absolute minimum exploiting others to reduce their risks and maximise their personal profits. In a market like Auckland where there is a massive shortage they would be all over reducing requirements just like they reduced insulation and building quality in the past putting costs onto the rate payer and the tax payer all the while making themselves a massive fortune.

        5. Richard, I’m sorry but I don’t see how forcing all unit developers and house builders to provide parking whether the market wants it or not somehow increases choice or variation within the market? Does it increase the supply of housing? I would suggest that adding on a compulsory second carpark costing an average of fifty grand would create downward pressure on the future supply of housing and make it more expensive across the board. Will it be easier to find a dream home in the right location at the right price if it must come with two or more carparks? You are waffling facetiously about the easy option to build our own $1 million dollar home at the same time as saying all housing developments should be forced to provide tens of thousands of dollars worth of extras that not every one wants. I find that strange.

          I live in a two bedroom home with three people and one carpark. I would be really pissed off if the law said I had to spend fifty grand more to buy an extra carpark we don’t need.

          You seem to be referring to the current market when discussing the future outcomes of a proposed law change. I find that strange too. Your argument seems to be that because the housing market is tight we should force all existing and future dwellings to include a lot of dedicated parking just in case there are people out there that need a home with lots of parking. What is wrong with having a range of options within the market?

          Why not let people decide of they want to rent or buy a home with one carpark or three? Why not let developers build units with no carparks if they think there is a market for people without cars? If they think that people do want carparks then they can build them.

          Developers are in the business of making money. I know this because my father worked with property developers for thirty years. It might come as a shock to you but most of them would prefer not to have parking minimums because they usually lose money on the carparking parts of a development which have to be recovered by charging higher rates for the homes. They will make more money if they could build more units instead of carparks, provided there are people willing to buy them. People won’t buy them unless they want to live there themselves, or if they can rent them properly. If people demand carparking as part of a rental then investors will demand parking, if they don’t they won’t. Thats a pretty basic market feedback loop, why stop developers providing the sorts of developments that their clients want?

          You’ll notice that all new developments in the areas where there are no minimums price and sell the parking separately at the actual cost of developing it. You’ll also notice that none of the apartments in those areas without parking are empty.

        6. Ok your obviously pulling out strawman arguments here suggesting that I fully support the current parking minimums even though I clearly said above in the post you responded to that I support a reduction.

          You would even not that I said a 2 bedroom unit should only be required to provide 1 car park and so the suggestion of being forced to add a second to your two bedroom unit is a pure strawman.

          To that extent I won’t engage further.

        7. I do have to wonder how much of that is caused by cutting corners to make up for the expenses of providing so many carparks – they cost to build, and they provide less revenue as the land/building space used for carparking space is land/building space that can’t be another number of apartments generating more income.

          Developments have to be profitable, if we lessen space required to store cars, we increase the ratio of “profitable” space to wasted space, so I say dropping MPRs will lead to better quality developments.

        8. Ok so you agree there, so why force a one bedroom to provide a carpark at all, or a three bedroom to provide two etc? If you can see the fallacy of minimum requirements in one class of housing, then why not in all classes?

          Why not simple let renters and purchasers decide how much parking they want, just like they decide how many bedrooms or bathrooms they want?

        9. Nick, where are these developments you talk of where renters can just come along and turn a knob to add and subtract carparks? It must be some form of new technology as most of the buildings I have seen tend to remain unchanged for some 50 years.

        10. Probably the same type where they come along and decide not to rent a house because it doesn’t have enough bedrooms.

        11. SF Lauren: “a knob to turn off parking” is called unbundling. It’s exactly what I did when I first arrived in Auckland – I rented an apartment at the top of Symonds without parking included. I then contracted with the private car park provider on the other side of Symonds to rent a space on a monthly basis. 2 minute walk from the door, and I just swung by my apartment building entrance to drop off stuff whenever needed – shopping etc.. I rented a space no-one was using, optimising use of spaces that existed. I rented both for a handful of months, terminated both with a month or less notice. Perfect.

          How difficult is that to understand as a basic model?

        12. Well that knob doesn’t exist in any form because we currently require parking for all dwellings, outside the limited minimum free zone in the CBD that is.

          But if we didn’t have minimums then people could look for houses or buildings that didn’t have parking, in the same way that the currently look for a three bedroom home if they need three bedrooms, or not three bedrooms if they don’t.

          Sorry but I can’t find the magic knob that lets renters dial up or down the number of bedrooms in a dwelling for rent, yet somehow people usually manage to end up in a home with the right amount of bedrooms for their needs. Same with bathrooms. I bought a home with two bathrooms by buying a home with two bathrooms and not buying a home with only one. Perhaps a magic bathroom selector dial might have been in there somewhere, but I didn’t see it.

          You know some places don’t even have a bedroom at all, yet shockingly some people want to live in that. I guess we need bedroom minimums too to stop studio dwellers from sleeping out on the kerb.

    2. ‘Its also interesting to suggest we will all get a choice without the minimums. Correct me if I’m wrong however I’m rather certain that most people aren’t property developers and each house we move into we build and customise from scratch.’

      Exactly. Removing minimum parking requirements on new buildings does not remove existing parking nor prevents the construction of more. It simply removes the forced construction of more, so will only lead to changes in areas where developers or individuals are happy to build with less parking. And these are only likely to be in some parts of the city- at least until alternatives to always driving improve. Hardly the end of the world even for those terrified at thought of others living a garage-less life.

      Although it will give owners and designers more control over the form of their buildings and lead to fewer crossings over footpaths and other small but important improvements to the urban fabric of our city over time. And a more productive land use.

  3. +1 Bin the mins. The only reason Auckland feels they need to require cars is because they haven’t sorted out the public transport. Sort that and then see how many car parks we need. Bin the mins ….Gen X

  4. A foreseeable consequence of parking minimums is that apartment prices are more than they otherwise would be. Does Brewer support affordable housing? Why should developers be forced to build more carparks?

  5. Some inner city on-street parking for sure if the houses are apartments or terraces, but again not too much. Sometimes in the suburbs, i see people who have plenty of private offstreet parking and still park one or two cars permanently on the wide sides of the street (like their work vehicles). Going down my main street on bicycle there are 2 cars permanently in the side street which would otherwise make a full cycleway. Sometimes their is an oversupply of onstreet parking which could be better used for cycle lanes. It’s almost more dangerous cycling on the sides and then weaving into the main road. So maybe we just don’t need a one size fits all approach we need good site specific design that encourages alternative transport.

      1. Are you saying you like the first example or that you don’t like any of them?

        For me I would be quite happy cycling in the first example as it’s a narrow street with generally low traffic volumes and low vehicle speeds.

        The latter two are deceptive as they look like quiet streets yet you often get people driving down those roads at ridiculous speeds not bothering to look for cars let alone cyclists.

        The example I like the least is the Amsterdam one where I would expect a car to pull out and hit me or if it was my car it would get broken into or crashed into.

        1. Exactly right SF. The formalised parking and narrow street create a nice environment for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers alike (not everyone likes driving quickly). The latter 2 drag people into riding near the curb and then having to pass parked cars. The higher traffic speeds are a problem too.

        2. The Amsterdam example is not too bad as the cars wont be moving in and out all the time (unlike a shopping centre) and of course, Dutch drivers are taught to look for cyclists and pedestrians. (Boring fact of the day: drivers in NL are taught to open the door using the opposite hand so it forces them to look in the side mirrors. Clever huh?)

      2. Or how about this example.. or this

        There’s about one parked car per 20 m along these nice wide streets, but every now and then where they are opposite each other they create pinch points for cyclists. OK downhill you can hold the road but you have to be confident.. and uphill is more problematic. You see this all the time riding a bike.

        @ SF Lauren, may I politely suggest you “get on your bike” to inform yourself of a wider perspective on the situation. Two or three trips along roads such as these ought to be sufficient.

        1. Um big wheel, did I not just agree with you guys saying that such roads can be deceptively dangerous for cyclist?

          I was correct to assume you were saying you don’t like such streets wasn’t I?

        2. Yes that’s exactly what i’m talking about big wheel. And look at the size of the public space. Everyone of those homes has an offstreet driveway. The footpaths are huge and unused. And the most of that side area is unused but one or two parked cars means you have to swerve into traffic. 2 of Bryces Te Atatu style inset parking bays would do the trick. To be honest i would just cycle slowly on the footpath there. That looks like a death wish.

        3. Those are both quite busy roads but there is plenty of room on the berm to build parking bays and then there would be enough room for painted bike lanes. Not perfect in a Dutch sense but a vast improvement on what is there now.

        4. Another thing those clever Dutch have figured out is that if you remove the centre line, motorists are less certain about the road space and slow down.

          Simple and effective.

    1. PS1 you make an excellent point. Today we have a massive oversupply of parking today in many of our suburban areas, created I guess by a combination of the parking minimums and generously-sized streets.

      So, exploit the opportunity that creates.. restrict parking to one side only, and use the space for reasonably high quality cycle lanes on both sides. These could be good enough to make a dramatic impact on choice of car v bike for school runs, short trips, commuting.

      There are 10s if not 100s of km of candidate streets which could be transformed in this way. Just by changing the road markings.

  6. Who are the councillors we need to convince, who are the enlightened ones, and what are their emails? I think they need all the convincing/support they can get.

  7. Im sorry but I think it is reasonable for there to be min parking requirements for apartment blocks. It is hardly fair on the existing residents for a developer to knock down a 4 bedroom home and replace it with a 10 apartment building and just expect the existing residents to accept they will now have to fight over what on street parking is left. If I was thinking from a cycle lobby view Id be lobbying for a min off street parking requirement for every new build in the country so that there is less street parking and more scope for cycle lanes and wider footpaths.
    NZ property developers are lucky, in the UK if you want to build apartments you have to include ‘social housing’ as part of the development. That bumps up the cost of buying apartments more than providing underground parking. In Switzerland not only do the developers have to provide underground parking, they also have to provide nuclear bomb shelters.
    I dont know why you think you can regulate people away from private cars, this is a koolaid moment. The vast majority of people own a car and want to be able to park it either off street or outside where they live. Its not an unreasonable expectation.

    1. I’d say one off-street carpark for every two bedrooms in a unit development would do the job. That way you have a provision yet it’s not an over the top provision and if you happen to be one of the few wealthy people that goes round building every house you live in you still have the option to build more. As for the rest of us plebs who rent we will actually have a chance of finding a place to live were we can park our car in safety out of the way where it wont cause anyone any harm and we don’t need to worry about being forced to drive to work because we can’t leave our car parked on the side of the street all week long.

      1. And what if you don’t have or want a car, like 10% of Auckland households? Still forced to buy an offstreet carpark even though it’s not wanted. Why not let the market provide some options for people like me that don’t want to pay for a carpark?

        1. I think you would be best to look into what makes up that 10% of Auckland. You may very well find that most of them are students or people from overseas out of town who simply did not have a car with them on census night.

          Therefore if you crunch the numbers you may find that 0% of those 10% were in the market to be out there building houses and such.

        2. The census measure of households doesn’t include guests in hotels or other people living in temporary accommodation. You will recall that you are required to complete two sets of forms on census night, one per individual, and one for the household. The houshold and resident measures are two different things.

          Ten percent of Aucklands permanent households in 2006, be they renters or homeowners, didn’t own a car. It will be interesting to see what the new results show. Perhaps a hard concept to stomach for those that can imagine living without one themselves, but true nonetheless.

          Here is a little piece of information you might find useful for this debate, people who rent homes also live in homes. Restricting your discourse to owner occupiers isn’t particularly useful.

      2. Surely the 90% of car owning Auckland households can not be expected to suffer because of the whims of the 10% who dont own cars.If Sailor Boy can not afford the last 40k on his apartment he needs to re think his purchase or use the money he saved on not buying his prius towards his property investment. Alternatively he could sub let his underground parking space to a neighbour, thats what anyone with entrepreneurial skills would do.

        1. Just how would they “suffer”?

          They own cars and presumably have a place to park them at or near their current residence.

          So please explain, Phil – how a new development in which they do not or will not reside will cause them undue harm because they might not be able park their personal car there, because the developer has the choice about whther to provide car parks.
          Looking forward to your response.

        2. What are you trying to suggest KLK? That apartment buildings are left unoccupied? If the owners are not living there and needing a place to park, then the tenants are

        3. You mean that statement I made that doesn’t seem to exist? Yes I believe that’s just a figment of your imagination or you temporarily made your way into a parallel universe.

          Feel free to find it and quote it if you can. Just quoting a random statement that is completely different from the one you accuse me of making doesn’t count.

        4. Or given he normally talks about commuting from long bay rather than building an underground carpark way up there in the suburbs he can build his two story single bedroom house with 2 outdoor carparks and then just turn them into a garden afterwards.

          That way he hasn’t spent $40k on an underground car park in the suburbs and hasn’t built himself a house with little resale value due to less than 10% of Aucklands actually wanting a place with no car park.

          He can also make sure his house is in an area with no on-street parking so that when he has visitors they have to park 500m away.

        5. Well I live with my dad at the moment so I don’t have a choice in the matter of location other than to move out which is financially unviable due to the lack of small apartments on the north shore.

          The best solution for me would be to build a row of terraced houses in a suburb closer to the bridge, say Milford, put all of the parking down one end and tie it to the other dwellings so I don’t have to put up with it. That way th building is within code and I don’t have to waste money on parking. Then if I ever come to seel it I will know that I am selling to a smaller market but won’t care because I am buying a home not making an investment.

        6. Oh well it sounds like things are already sorted for you. You can either buy one of the many existing small apartments that don’t have a carpark, or buy in as part of a development and get yourself a small apartment with no carpark. You could probably even buy yourself a massive apartment with no carpark.

          Only catch is you can’t build your apartment in the mixed housing zone but there are plenty of other zones that let you do just that all round the city.

          I would advise a bit of caution about locking such a huge amount of money away in something and assuming you will live it the rest of your life however. There is a good chance you may get married one day, have kids, or maybe even drive for work.

        7. Except that SailorBoy’s point is that he doesn’t want a car or parking, so searching for a carpark won’t be an issue. And in that case, why should he have to pay for a carpark? No one advocating for the removal of parking minimums is saying that all off-street parking should be removed. They are just saying that it shouldn’t be mandatory for those who don’t want it.

        8. Phil, if you haven’t already read through the comments, I suggest you do so. It’s been explained very clearly here that every existing dwelling will still have parking, and a large percentage of newly built dwellings will – because many people want it.

          And, for people like me who don’t want to purchase a carpark as part of my dwelling, we won’t have to. It’s called choice, and it’s called letting the market decide.

          To use an analogy you might understand: forcing every single person to buy/rent a house with a carpark is like forcing every single person to have a four door car. I might want to drive a three door hatchback which is smaller. I might want a convertible.

          Just because something is useful to many people, doesn’t make it useful to everyone. But right now, instead of living in my own unit I’m forced to rent larger expensive houses which I have to share with other people, complete strangers, because smaller houses are made uneconomic and difficult to build because of regulations like these which waste large amounts of land and money in construction.

        9. I’d say a more accurate analogy is that the rules force people building cars to provide doors.

          Further to that the rule makers know there are different types of vehicles and so they have made different limits. Small cars can have two doors however larger cars are required to have 4 doors. They have even made provisions for certain types of vehicles that don’t a door at all.

          All of these rules they have made is to help ensure the safe and easy access from these vehicles during emergency situations.

        10. No, that’s a completely fucking idiotic comparison, and you know that.

          You tell me how a carpark is related to the health and safety of dwelling owners.

        11. @SF, try use a car without using doors? Now try use your house without your offstreet parking. I do the latter every day, so it is mostly about the former that you should be investigatin.

          Also, you claim that the market wants off street parking so it makes no sense to unbundle carparks from a building, and that a set minimum is better. Why is the same not true for laundries? We can share laundry space communally in a laundrette, or each have our own. Most of the market demands laudries so they get built, but some places don’t have a built in one. How is that at all different from carparking?

        12. George, I shouldn’t really respond given you have resorted to using that language however the comparison is related in the same way the number of doors on a car are related to the number of carparks for a house.

        13. Sailor boy, most race cars don’t have functioning doors and plenty of topless cars also don’t have doors.

          As for your other question my previous example which got deleted after you responded to it was just that where the development had the minimum number of carparks however they were distributed so that some were dedicated and others were shared.

        14. How is that at all relevant then? How does the provision of parking have anything to do with occupant safety?
          How am I any safer with an empty patch on concrete outside my bedroom window than with a gaden?

        15. “I’d say a more accurate analogy is that the rules force people building cars to provide doors”
          Not sure I follow your logic here. You can live in a house that doesn’t have a car park space.
          Better analogy would be a rule that requires every car to have at least 5 seats. most people want at least five seats but a few people prefer 2. The market provides both.

        16. Sorry for swearing above. No matter the provocation, it’s quite inappropriate. The admins are welcome to delete that if they wish.

        17. And as I said above Benidorm, various types of cars don’t have operating doors.
          You will also note that I said “they have even made provisions for certain types of vehicles that don’t have a door at all”.

          Why people chose to take half a paragraph and then argue against it when the second half of the paragraph the are arguing against explains their concerts I really don’t know. It’s not like my post was very long.

        18. Listen, when a developer invests the banks money to build an apartment block he (and the bank) want him to build units that are marketable. Most people want to be able to park their car where they live. Its like most people want to have a kitchen. Just because you can get by without having a kitchen or car park doesnt mean its a good idea, even if it will save you some money. People build to what the market wants and the car hating lobby is a tiny minority that is not going to be catered for by the building industry or mortgage lenders.

        19. @Phil, if that’s the case the the removal of parking minimums should be no problem at all, because by your argument it will not affect what the developers build. So why would we keep a law that we don’t need?

          And its removal will also allow that minority you mention to build housing without car parking (without affecting what the market wants, because they are a minority), and everyone will be happy. This seems like the obvious solution.

          P.s. I don’t hate cars. But they are expensive, and in some parts of Auckland they are not very necessary. If I buy a house in an area where I don’t need a car, then I don’t want to be forced by the council to have part of the land set aside for a vehicle that I don’t have. Whether I have off-street parking should be my choice, not the council’s.

        20. Right, so why don’t we have minimum kitchen requirements then? Why do we need laws regulating numbers of parking spaces, but not laws regulating numbers of kitchens? Obviously the non existence of minimum kitchen requirements hasn’t resulted in scores of people forced to cook out in the street. Could it be that the market forces in the housing sector results in the right amount of kitchens to meet market demands. Most houses have one, some have two or more, presumably there are some without them too. Why do we need a regulation for the number of kitchens, sorry I mean carparks, per dwelling?

          If people build to what the market wants then surely there is no problem letting people built to what the market wants. Why do we need laws to specify a minimum requirement of parking if they market wants them? Wouldn’t the only time we need a regulation is when people don’t build to what the market wants?

        21. @..Phil. August 29, 2013 at 11:28 pm. Yep, you’ve got it in one there. You’ll note that the article above is not suggesting the restriction on the ability to have carparks in a development or force their removal, more offering the choice of not having as many/or at all. Basically, let’s leave it to the developer to produce a building they believe will provide what the market is wanting to buy.

        22. Nick R: we do have a minimum kitchen requirement (1), a minimum bathroom requirement (also 1), and plenty of other regulations to make homes liveable.

          The difference is that everyone eats and everyone shits. Not everyone has a car that needs storing, and some people only have cars because they already had a space to store it, but wouldn’t necessarily keep it if they could save some money by not having the space.

        23. Steve, the district plan is online. Please post a link to to the requirement to have 1 bathroom and 1 kitchen. Not about standards for these rooms, but how many you must have per dwelling.

        24. conan: it’s in the Building Code, not district plans.

          Bathrooms: (Table 1, on page 22).

          There are probably ways to get around providing a kitchen per unit if you really, really want to, with shared cooking facilities or something like that.

    2. How is it reasonable?

      I’m 29, a professional, and I’d like a place to call my own, rather than having to share a place 3 or 4 complete strangers (nice as they might be). I don’t need a car, and don’t want one. Between buses, trains, cycling, walking, taxis, friends or family with cars, rental car agencies and planes, I’ve got all the transport options I need.

      You are determined to force a developer to provide me a car park. That developer will have to spend their money building a car park in an intensive development, or waste land which could be used for building or private gardens etc. in a less intensive development. That amount is up to $50,000.

      You are forcing your aesthetic choices on me, at a large personal and financial cost to me. I detest that.

      1. It is reasonable because you are the small minority. The needs of the many outweigh the wishes of the few.

        PS: At 29 you shouldnt be living at home, give your Mom and Dads a break and go support your own life 🙂

        1. @Phil, you are a minority in not wanting cycling over the bridge, yet you still oppose skypath. Even then you are being even more selfish because you are still able to have parking if I choose not to, I am not able to cycle across the bridge because you choose not to.

    3. In your hypothetical, hyperbolic example ( I doubt we will see any 10 dwelling apartment buildings popping on single lots surrounded by detached housing) the existing residents don’t own the on-street parking, they have no greater right to it than anyone else. Its a public resource.

      Also, the rules aren’t regulating people away from private cars – they are giving developers and residents a choice. If market demands warrant 2 car-parks per apartment, then a developers can go through the resource consent process to prove any increase in parking numbers above a set minimum is justified. If there is a market for developments that provide no parking, then developers and future tennants won’t need to waste money on an unwarranted utility.

      1. I know that many on this blog are in favour of promoting denser population for Auckland. They see this as a way to lower housing costs and reduce urban sprawl. I can tell you that in countries where this has been policy, say England as an example, you see bungalow houses making way for apartment complexes all the time. As Parking is already a premium in the UK the developer is required by law to provide off street parking for residents.
        Why do you want to clog the streets with cars? Dont you realise it will make your PT or cycling experience worse?

        1. Why would it make things worse? WE could manage the road so less on street par\king is available and then those who need to drive can choose from the 600,000 dwellings with parking that already exist, and those who don’t can choose from other homes.

    4. Phil, residents don’t own on-street parking! If there’s a problem with an over demand for on street parking then AT can always intervene and impose a price on parking to manage demand more effectively.

      1. Apparently Phil believes that if you pay lots for your place you should be able to control the on street parking and access to your area.

        1. Just don’t mention SkyPath – the OSP requirements for that alone, will require a multi-level parking building in St Marys bay and Northcote point 😉

        2. Surely the residents can sense an opportunity here and corner the market for parking for SkyPath with these parking buildings? And sound like there is going to be high demand for cycle parking too. This will mainly be those driving to SkyPath and then wanting to cycle across but can’t be bothered loading and unloading their bike from the car every day.

        3. Parking is one of the reasons Skypath will not be built, certainly not in its current design.

        4. Phil SkyPath will be built I can tell you. There are far too many big fish behind it and one small residents group of small fish will not stop it.

    5. Phil, please do point out the bit in the original post where Matt is suggesting that we ‘regulate people away from private cars’. He is suggesting that we don’t regulate for the number of carparks in new developments. In much the same way that there is no requirement that a development includes dishwashers, there shouldn’t be regulation forcing a set number of carparks.

      It is amazing how recently we’ve had an amazing number of posts suggesting more central control of space. Forcing developers to do certain things, restrict access to public spaces and the like. Anyone would think the blog had been taken over by the raving left wing.

  8. I think we should be specific. In St Mary’s Bay here is a link of a typical street. It’s not terraced housing or apartments. It’s Large formal homes on very wide streets with most having offstreet parking and most often a double garage. Very few have no parking. The home owners have adequate parking. The streets on a stroll around google look about 70% full which is about what you’d expect inner city.

  9. @SF stop strawmanning. We say that for most of the area of Auckland that is true. Maybe, like most people George is trying to live in an area with good PT links close to shops where a car is unnecessary. Also, I don’t want that spot at all, it would be much better used as an extra bedroom or garden space in my hypothetical apartment, why is it so important to you that I be forced to have the lifestyle choices that others want. Should it be mandatory that all houses have 2 indoor bicycle racks?

  10. What on earth are you talking about? The central suburbs are well served, particularly if you live near to a major bus route or train line. I’m extremely confident of my ability to live in Mt Eden or Kingsland etc and get around with ease. The problem is that I can’t afford to, because restrictive housing rules have pushed prices up near the $1,000,000 mark, for large cold dank wooden sheds. If you want something you can afford, you need to move out to the suburbs where there is less transport.

    1. Threading fail – in reply to SF Lauren’s strawperson. Like Sailor Boy, I’d rather have that space for living areas, or to save the thousands which would be added to a mortgage or rent.

      1. Boys, the harsh reality remains that the vast majority of people want parking and if that pushes up the value of housing then that is just the market forces coming into play. Accept the value, pay it or buy somewhere else that is more affordable.

        1. I’ll buy the next house down the street where the garage has been converted into a bedroom, that is more affordable.

        2. How can you say it’s market forces when the regulations require parking? There is no ability for the market to provide fewer parking spaces (in most areas) due to the regulations. And how do you explain the price increases in places like Ponsonby, which were built before the parking minimums? Remove the minimums and we might see some actual market forces at work. Most houses will still have off street parking (because that’s what already exists), but new buildings won’t be forced to be hindered by the cost of providing parking. I’d happily buy a place without off-street parking, and would expect the cost to be lower than a place with parking.

        3. Your bank may not be so happy lending you the money. Just because you and Sailor Boy might want to turn your garage into a spare bedroom doesnt mean the person buying your house after you wont want parking. In fact its more than likely they will and the fact you converted the garage has lowered the value and the banks ability to recover its stake if you cant meet your payments.
          It may be harsh but its the rules of the game. Just get over it.

        4. So what? I should still have the option, and it would be MY choice to take that risk and my responsibility to negotiate with the bank. If they don’t provide a mortgage, fine, but I should still have the option to try and get a house that suits me. It would not affect you in any way, so I don’t know why you are so against it. I don’t lecture you on what type of house you should buy or how sensible your decisions are.
          And as I have pointed out before, there are houses that exist without off-street parking already that are very desirable and very sale-able. Also, if those who want no parking are a minority, then there will be plenty of houses WITH off-street parking still available to buyers.
          I would be interested in a genuine reason as to why you are so antagonistic about the suggestion that we could provide more choice to Aucklanders by removing this particular regulation.

        5. Banks in Auckland do lend against units without carparking on the title. However they will not lend against carparks on a separate title. That might tell you something about the bank’s view of the relative value and risk.

        6. Also, some examples of houses with no off-street parking, with which I think banks would be pretty happy.

          40 Summer Street, Ponsonby: CV $820,000 (the house next door, 42, has a parking space! It has the same land value but total CV is only $740k)
          59, 61, 63 Seafield View Rd, Grafton: CVs of $510k-$590k
          76 Norfolk St, Ponsonby: CV $735k
          16 Bond St, Grey Lynn/Arch Hill: CV $610k

          And there are plenty more like this.

        7. Liz Just because there are some houses that were build before the min parking regs doesnt justify removal of the requirement. There are a lot of homes in NZ built before the Christchurch Earthquake or leaky homes but you surely wouldnt suggest going back to pre event building regulations.

          I respect your individual rights but in this case the legacy of your decisions have to be accounted for. Just because you build a unit now and do not need off street parking because you choose not to own a car does not mean the next owner wont be a 3 car family who will annoy the neighbours by having their 4×4, shopping trolly, daughters car and a boat parked on the road.

        8. Parking minimums cannot be directly compared to earthquake regulations. A house is just as safe without a carpark as with one. And, one driveway effectively removes one on-street park, so off-street parking actually does not add a large amount of capacity.

          The vast majority of housing in Auckland provides off street parking. Removing the minimums will not prevent housing with off-street parking from existing. In fact, there’ll be as much as there was before, and I imagine any change will be gradual. But at least change and options will be possible. I imagine a family with 3 vehicles and a boat would want to buy a house with off-street parking, not one without. There will still be plenty of this to choose from! Buyers choose properties that suit their needs.

          Your argument is not particularly effective either, because those hypothetical next owners could fill up the street just as well even at a house with off-street parking. E.g. they could buy a house with 2 parking spaces, use those, and also have 2 vehicles parked on the road. As one on street parking space is also removed due to the driveway access, this is equivalent to them having 3 cars on the road anyway.. What’s to stop them parking the other one on the road too, e,g, when they’re working on their boat and want to use the driveway space? Then they become just as annoying, even though they have 2 off-street car parks! So it’s behaviour (and I would argue, number of cars) that will have an impact, not houses with no off-street parking.

          Having the ability to build housing without minimum parking requirements will not mean that the streets will fill up with cars. If on-street parking really becomes a problem then this can be managed through residents’ parking schemes (e.g. each household has permits to park a limited number of cars on the street).

  11. Are minimum parking requirements something new*?

    I own an apartment in ‘The Met’, (Durham Lane East) and there is no carparks for any of the 100+ residents. The Guardian apartment building in Queen street, and others are similar. There is also no vehicle access at all to the Met – you walk to the apartment on Durham lane which has no vehicles (and like Vulcan lane, much better for it). Have owned the apartment for about 5 years, and never had any issues in tenanting the apartment at all. Infact, I would be happy to live there myself if I was single.

    PT is obviously easy reachable, but Victoria St carpark is also only ~100 meters away. I believe tenants could rent a car-park from there if they really wanted to (none have), or even just hire a town car by the hour from the carpark if they really needed a car from time to time. So seems to me that in the discussion, some might be missing that:

    a) There are already residential apartments with no OSP – and demand for people to live there

    b) If there is no OSP, then people can choose to rent/buy nearby parking. Choose being the operative word

    c) People can still choose to use cars from time to time, even if they don’t own or having parking for one. No OSP does not force PT or bicycles only. If you are not using a car on a very regular basis then depreciation, parking costs, rego and insurance means that renting a car on demand can work out very cost effective. In a Japanese apartment I stayed at in Yokohama, there was a small car-parking area provided for residents (maybe 1 carpark per 2-3 apartments), but the overheads of simply owning a car (and excellent PT options) meant that relatively few people used the carpark.

    *Obviously in pre-1900 houses, there was no provision for OSP, so any OSP to Victorian era houses has been retrofitted. Always amuses me when I see the old working class cottages around St Mary’s Bay and Ponsonby, done up to multi-million dollar standards and car-parks squeezed in where possible, under bay windows, dug out basements etc.

  12. How are sales going in that apartment in Manukau? They were offered with carparks as an optional extra (in a carpark next door) for something like $40,000?

    Regardless, there are some fanciful claims (by the usual suspects) around any initiative that dares not place the role of the private motor car front and center in the planning process for any development in Auckland.

    Getting rid of parking minimums won’t result in the sky falling in and I doubt you’ll see much change in approach from developers initially. But over time it will result in greater choice for all, not impacting one bit anyone who has or wants 2 car parks to their single dwelling. Those are not being outlawed and there will always be developments offering them to that segment of the market who wants to pay for them, despite suggestions to the contrary.

  13. I think the right wing always seem to forget that my insisting on parking minimums they are making my perfectly reasonable lifestyle choice illegal.

  14. I’ve just realised something crucial. Less off-street parking means more parking for everyone else.

    This is because the considerable intrusion on on-street parking caused by driveways is reduced dramatically; sometimes up to a third of all on-street parking is compromised by driveways. People enforcing MPRs on everyone mean they’re taking away parking from those who actually want to park in an area.

  15. For those of you coming up with strawman arguments against those that can see some benefit in parking minimums please keep in mind we are talking about the mixed housing zone as per this post and pretty much all previous posts.

    To this extent we are talking about the zone that covers most of the city including places such as botany and long bay. Bringing up arguments saying you want to live in a place that has good PT and is in the inner city you will find there are plenty of areas zoned as terrace housing and apartment buildings. Certainly for the massive 10% of households that don’t have a car and the subset of that group that don’t want a carpark for occasional use or visitors there appears to be an ample supply to cater for you already.

    1. Pretty much the entire Isthmus is either single house, or mixed house, lots of Takapuna is mixed house, lots of The areas around the busway. So no, your arguing to enforce parking minimums in some pretty damned handy places for PT.

      1. Um, did you even read my post sailor boy? I just said that most of the city is mixed housing.

        In regards to Takapuna and the busway a quite look at a map shows that there is plenty of land marked as apartments. For Takapuna itself the majority of it is zoned apartments so plenty of choice for that few people that insist in not using their garrage for storage, a game room or some place to park your bikes.

        1. Yeah, I read this “you will find there are plenty of areas zoned as terrace housing and apartment buildings” its a load of rubbish.

        2. Well I guess that’s your impression and that in your submission you asked for more of the city to be zoned as apartments.

          The way it currently is apartments can be built in most areas of the city but for only a small part of most areas. Takapuna which you were concerned about is about 50% that way. If you happen to be a developer and building your own apartments in remote parts of the city with zero parking for yourself or visitors it seems the mixed housing zone isn’t much of a constraint other than the specific address.

        3. No, I asked for a removal of all minimums in my submission as there are many places where parking is unnecessary that aren’t zoned ATHB. Shakespeare Road for example.

        4. Ah yes I see what you mean. The swarms of vehicles parked on the road outside all of those residential properties is a clear sign that there is a massive over supply of off street parking.

          I’m pretty sure we would all agree that when we intensify this area we should reduce the provision of parking putting more stationary vehicles on the side of this road to not only remove the T2 lane but prevent there being any chance of a cycle lane.

        5. Oh, and you will notice there is a large section zoned terrace housing and apartment buildings at the northern end of Shakespeare Road. So there is no need to worry that it’s all mixed housing.

        6. @SF if I live on Shakespeare road in the mixed housing xone on there then I don’t need a car park, on or off road. Why should the regulations forced something that is nice but not necessary. Should we say that all houses must have chest freezers?

        7. Why not just get an apartment down the road where you can get one without a carpark?

          Or if you do buy one of those large sections there just rip up the carpark and slap some grass down. Nobody is stopping you from either of those options.

          Oh and remember less than 10% of Auckland is like you not wanting to ever have a carpark in your life and so your legacy shouldn’t stuff up the other 90%+ people who may want to live there after you.

        8. Under current planning rules you cannot decrease the number of offstreet parks, at least in residential 1.

  16. The only strawman argument being raised is the one that says doing away with minimum parking requirements will mean no carparks will provided in future.

        1. Actually I’m slightly mistaken there, it seems Nick never mentioned that. From what I can see 3 people brought up that line of discussion being KLK, Patrick and yourself.

          My apologies.

        2. “You do know what developers do don’t you Andrew? They are not the pinnacle of moral ethics but rather some of the most self centred individuals you can find that go to great lengths to provide the absolute minimum exploiting others to reduce their risks and maximise their personal profits.”

          The hysterical response to a suggestion that developers build carparks to what the market wants.

        3. Thankyou for confirming for us that I never made such a claim about parking.

          In addition if you think that statement was hysterical you clearly know very little about the behavior of developers as what I said is pretty much common knowledge for anyone who has ever worked with one or read the newspaper.

        4. So SF is now claiming that the majority of Aucklanders want parking, and that developers who will do anything for profit won’t provide them……

          I am seeing some big holes in this argument.

        5. The biggest hole being that I never made the second part of that statement and you just made it up all on your own.

          In fact you have just added yourself to the list of 4 people to bring up that line of conversation which I’m yet to do myself.

        6. Then your argument becomes even weaker. Your argument then is that developers will do the bare minimum ie zero carparks, and that the market demands them, therefore the developers won’t make profit, a contradiction.

        7. I’m not even reading this stuff but cut it out both of you or your posts will be deleted. We are sick of threads being dominated by one or two people going back and forward.

  17. “Why is it a bad rule”

    1. Ridiculous cost (underground parking adds avg $50,000 per park)

    Meh, sounds a bit made up, but ok,

    2. Poor use of urban space

    How is an underground carpark a poor use of urban space?

    3. Reduces transport choice (creates expectation you should always own a car)

    This is laughable, having a carpark creates an expectation you should own a car! My house has a sky dish, yet I don’t subscribe to sky.

    So really only one reason why it’s a bad rule. Too costly.

      1. It’s a hilarious analogy, because the Sky dish is paid for by Sky TV when you get the service connected for the first time. The equivalent would be requiring car companies to build you a garage when you buy a car off them.

        1. Well, that’s one way of exposing the cost of storing a car when you buy it, and directly tying it to the purchase price!

      1. Sounds good. I’d be interested to hear how much it costs to retrofit underground carparking if one decides they want a carpark later on.

  18. Enjoying the thread but can’t find anyone arguments for retaining minimum parking requirements for residential developments. Can anyone point out why we would want to force developers to build parking they don’t want to build? What is the rule supposed to achieve? Who benefits and how? Please don’t bite my head off I stand to be corrected if I missed something.

    1. The general point is Benidom is that when a house is built its not going to be there for 3 months and then get replaced with another but rather its going to be there for quite a few decades having multiple different people and families living in them.

      To this extent we have all sorts of building regulations covering all sorts of different things with one being parking.

      Different parts of the city have different constraints however the one that hithot on the agenda is the mixed housing zone that covers 2 story buildings on small sections of 300sq.m or more.

      Now mixed housing zone covers vast areas of the city some with good PT and some with poor.

      The issue arises that when minimums are removed the people developing these zones will try and get away with providing as little as they can, not as little technically but as little whilst still making out what they set to do which is make money.

      Now if we were in a housing surplus right now this may not be all that much of any issue as they customer would be spoilt for choice, however this is not the case and not likely to be for the next 20 year’s and so we are at a very critical point right now where no matter how crap a developer makes something people will still buy it as they have nowhere else to go.

      This will result in more of what already happens with cars overflowing onto the streets ulting in what could be nice tree lined streets with cycle lanes becoming hazardous carparks that are neither nice or effective for transport.

      There are a whole heap if social issues as well with one being the reduced travel ability of such areas which results in reduced access to jobs which in tern lowers the socioeconomics of the area with reduced education and crime in theeextreme cases.

      Of course other areas that have good PT provisions don’t have these issues and that is why when you look at the unitary plan you can see the have sections all over the city that have reduced parking provisions when they are near good PT routes. This is not done everywhere mind you as the council and most Aucklanders were not wanting apartment buildings potentially going up on any street in the city.

    2. As I understand it, the parking minimums are supposedly to ensure that the users of the building have a guaranteed place to park, AND so that on-street parking is not taken up by the residents or the people using that particular building (i.e. there will still be enough on-street parking for everyone else who needs to park there). I don’t think the minimums have anything to do with improving the streetscape, as implied by some posts, as there is usually still on-street parking. We also know from our personal experiences and our driveway injury/fatality statistics that driveway cuts and cars driving in and out make footpaths much more dangerous for pedestrians.

      Also, when we take into account the fact that one driveway cut in the footpath removes one on-street parking space, residential parking minimums don’t actually add much capacity at all. As has been pointed out above, removing parking minimums will not prevent anyone from providing carparks/garages if they want to, it just won’t force them to. And in this way it will allow for choice in the housing market. As I pointed out in a previous comment, houses in areas such as Ponsonby and Grafton are highly sought after and have experienced a large increase in value, even though many were built before the parking minimums were introduced and so have limited or no off-street parking.

      Also, if we are wanting to encourage affordable and higher density housing near transport links (which appears to be one of the aims of the Unitary Plan rezoning), then the last thing we want to do is force developers to add ~$40k to the cost of each dwelling in order to provide a carpark. Or someone building their own home (or subdividing a section) to have to install a driveway. Concrete is expensive, and yet in many parts of Auckland we are taking up significant portions of land with driveways in order to satisfy the parking minimums.

      Some people here have been arguing that we need these minimums in some parts of Auckland because there aren’t good transport links available (i.e. residents would suffer without a car and access to an off-street carpark). But if developments are built in areas with poor public transport and no facilities for cars, then they are unlikely to be bought. So I personally do not think that this will be a big problem. If anything, it would be an incentive to improve public transport links across Auckland, to reduce the number of areas without reliable transport.

      These are just my thoughts on the minimums, I’d be interested to hear what you think Benidorm. 🙂

    3. The argument is basically as follows:

      1) Everyone has a car.
      2) But nobody wants offstreet parking, so you have to have laws that force them to have lots of it cos they’ll never build it otherwise.
      3) If you don’t force everyone to have lots of it, they’ll all park on the street.
      4) If people park on the street, other people can’t park on the street.
      5) We cant possibly use streets for things like trees or cycle lanes as long as there are still people wanting to park there.

      Basically it’s people who park on streets saying everyone has to build off street parking because they are concerned they wont be able to get parking on street any more. Or something.

      Seriously though, the rules are based on the idea that everyone requires a car to be economically productive and parking right next to homes, offices and businesses is more productive. The rules are based around a fear of “spillover” clogging up streets and preventing access to shops and businesses if ‘sufficient’ parking isn’t provided. Sufficient parking basically means more than needed at any given time, or in very simple terms much more than the average demand is required to cope with peak demand. True to that form Auckland currently has around 3.5 carparking spaces for every one car.

      Perversely it also assumes that some guy somewhere that worked out a parking to floor area formula has a better idea of how much parking a particular house or business needs than the people building the house or leasing the property. The ability for market forces to provide an efficient supply of parking is made illegal.

      1. Its not an argument, that would imply people (the majority) actually favour a change or debate. Its a building regulation that is in place for very good reasons.
        People when buying houses or apartments want certain minimum standards. These days they expect a kitchen, a toilet, a bathroom, and somewhere to park their car, preferably off street. Housing in Auckland is not expensive unless your cant afford it. Trying to say you could live in a desirable area if only the apartments were cheaper because the developer saved on the costs of constructing a car park shows an lack of understanding of how property prices work. Regardless of actual costs of construction the developer will sell his apartments for the maximum price the market will sustain. With or without a carpark very few of you will be buying apartments or houses with sea views because you just cant afford it because of demand.
        Ensuring developers have to provide off street parking makes sure the streets are not clogged up with cars. This leaves more room for peds and cycle paths as well as casual parking.
        Where do you anti car people draw the lines? Do you think the Casino should have been built without parking? It would have been cheaper. Or Westfield supermarkets could be without car parks? I mean, people could just travel by bus to Westfield and have anything purchased delivered. The savings on land would mean rents would be cheaper at westfield and shops could sell you their goods at a lower price….. really?
        People want to use their cars, give up the koolaid and go hug a hydrocarbon… you know your want too

        1. Actually they think places like Sylvia Park and the mega supermarkets would still be just the same as they are today only with cheaper prices if they provided no parking because apparently the biggest shoppers are all the people who walk or cycle to these places.

          We saw a post claiming just this a few weeks ago but it comes up all the time when the talk of subsidising car parks gets going.

        2. Walkers and cyclists DO spend more money in neighborhood and retail centres, How often does a pedestrian walk past a store, stop and look in the window and pop in, unplanned, and possibly buy something? Its intuitively a lot higher than someone driving past, who is focusing on the road and not the goods on offer. Of course the reverse being true for supermarket/ malls etc which have much larger catchments and larger items that require the convenience of motor vehicles be transported home. Have a read of this research stating this fact –

        3. Interesting, I see my post where I corrected this misrepresentation got deleted. Another case of not wanting to let facts or real life get in the way of a good story I see.

        4. “People … have certain minimum standards … these days they want … somewhere to park their car.” That’s your argument for suggesting that everyone wants and should be provided with a car-park? Ooo ooo let me play this game: “People … have certain minimum standards … these days they want … puppies!” Cue minimum dog house requirements …

          “Where do you anti car people.draw the line …” I draw the line at you enforcing a regulation that imposes very real and substantial costs on many people such as myself. And it’s not just the 10% of households that don’t own any cars, it’s the many other households would own fewer cars were they able to freely choose. That’s where I draw the line.

          “Do you think the Casino would have been built without parking.” No. What’s your point? No minimums simply allows landowners to choose how much they need to support their business. Removing minimums will not change the behaviour of some developers, while some other developers will provide less, while some other developers will provide none.

          P.s. Phil and SF Lauren you have both said more than enough. Please don’t bomb threads in this way again.

        5. One of my properties has no carpark, and it’s the best performing part of my portfolio! I get a 13% net return on that one, solid capital gains (if the neighbouring unit sales are anything to go by, I’m not selling the golden goose just yet) and have had zero vacancy in six years. Last time I let it I had potential tenants bidding up the rent to sign the lease. These people aren’t forced into living there, they want to live there because they don’t have cars and want a place where they don’t have to cover the costs of parking. I rent that unit at around $60 less per week than the equivalent ones with parking. Call me “so incredibly stupid” if you like, but buying that property was the best investment I have yet made.

          Maybe your own preferences and prejudices are clouding your judgement on what various market segments are demanding?

          I see huge demand for housing without the sunk costs of parking attached, and I want to develop more of it. Not just downtown, but in various parts of the city. I don’t see why there should be a law against someone like myself developing what the market wants.

        6. What they cost originally I don’t know, but I do know what it cost me and I’m more than happy with a 13% return. I’m not trying to prove that it is the best investment around or even the best on the block. But I am refuting the idea that buying a property without a carpark makes me incredibly stupid.

          Just a point of clarification, I don’t want to force anyone to do anything. Removing minimum parking regulations isn’t about creating new regulations banning parking, it’s about removing the regulation and letting developers decide how much parking their customers want, or homeowners how much they need. In the long term it’s about letting market forces provide the most efficient level of parking after defacto cross subsidies are removed.

          It’s funny you mention the market, we regulars on this blog are actually some of the biggest free marketeers around. We want to remove regulations on parking, relax density and development controls, and dismantle structural subsidies to particular transport outcomes. We want a more level playing field whithout rules and subsidies that control how people can live and move around. That’s not only freedom of choice, it also should lead to efficient use of land and resources and a more prosperous society overall.

        7. There is no actual requirement for minimum parking in the CBD. SkyCity made a business decision to have a huge carpark.

          “People when buying houses or apartments want certain minimum standards. These days they expect a kitchen, a toilet, a bathroom, and somewhere to park their car, preferably off street”

          So we can trust the market to deliver all but the carpark? There is no actual requirement to provide any of the above apart from the parking (outside of the CBD). The fact that many inner city apartments do have carparking shows that the proposal of this article is not restricting the supply.

  19. I am generally supportive of the idea of removing the minimums. However I think it very naive to assume that developers won’t screw the system as much as possible. how do we prevent our streets becoming more like parking lots than they are already?

    I can see developers building houses with no parking and desperate buyers will buy them and park on the street. sure the buyer may not have a car but it’s more likely they do. nothing wrong with this unless it becomes standard practice for the public to subsidize developers by saving them money and providing free parking.

    I can see commercial developers providing next to no parking to fit more shops in meaning people using nearby street parking instead.again nothing wrong with one off developments but if everyone does it, it is the city subsidizing developers which I strongly disagree with.

    then you have the big malls. Most of the week the don’t use half their parking and on the weekends they don’t have nearly enough. if they decided to halve their parking to create more retail space you could end up with a lot more nearby streets packed with cars on the weekends. I’m not sure how likely this will happen because the big malls are owner operated rather than being sold off later. but again the council will foot the parking bill.

    reflecting on world history shows that relying on the market to deliver the best solution for society is incredibly stupid.I don’t mind rich people paying the price of their failures but the biggest issue is that society often ends up carrying the burden of the bad choices of a few people motivated only by greed.

    it it’s good to propose this,but how do we mitigate the very obvious risks?

    1. I don’t see what you mean by “subsidising” developers. We’ve already built all the on-street parking, and no-one’s planning on adding or removing any, regardless of whether any off-street parking is or isn’t built. We would end up with higher utilisation of on-street parks, but it doesn’t cost ratepayers any more than it would otherwise.

  20. I think that removing minimum parking restrictions is a real silver bullet for Auckland and I dont see the big problem with on street parking. If people have to park further from their houses then that is just part of living in a big city.

    There is plenty of housing available with parking and I am sure it will continue to be built if developers see the market for it. I have lived in plenty of neighbourhoods in other cities where there was basically only on street parking and the Western civilisation didnt collapse. It works better if parking laws are strictly enforced – as they mostly are in Auckland.

    In relation to on street parking being a problem for cycling, that is not neceessarily true. If the effect of that parking is to narrow the street and slow traffic, then that is a win for cycling. That is mostly an issue with residential streets, not arterials.

    In relation to arterials – I dont think there should be parking on arterials and housing on arterials will generally have very good access to public transport and are prime locations for low or no parking developments. Cycle lanes can then be accomodated as well as bus lanes considering the width of most arterial roads in Auckland.

    1. People get all up in arms when a pedestrain needs to walk an extra 100m to get to the local gas station in a few select locations where pedestrains don’t really want to be, or they have to wait the same amount of time at an intersection as cars do.

      However when it comes to parking our car at home we should be happy to park it 200m down the street where it may sit for two weeks getting broken into as we use PT most of the time. And the reason we should do this is that we have a large city where for some reason it is suddenly extremely challenging to build a carpark in the suburbs?

      1. Removing parking minimums does not make it hard to build carparking onto a property. Stop being so dramatic. Also, the minimums don’t apply to single house zone.

        1. Actually yes it does Bryce. Once a house is built to its limits on a small section it’s pretty much impossible to add a carpark or 2. In addition people are campaigning against the mixed housing zone which covers most of the city and is primarily in residential suburbs on what are currently side streets where the commercial activity shown in the picture at the top is not permitted.

        2. People modify houses to suit needs all the time. They add bedrooms, extend, add garages and driveways to suit. If you don’t like the property because it has no parking, buy one that does. Choices for all.

        3. We need mimimum swimming pool requirements on all houses, just in case someone buys a house without a swimming pool then later realises it’s almost impossible to fit one in.

      2. Yes because selling your car instead is just unfathomable. (San Fransisco has citycarshare.og, Hertz On Demand, and GetAround, Auckland has Cityhop – who have a few on-street parks now)

      3. Quite right Andrew, I would have a very hard time taking my sports car to Hampton downs if I sold it, I would also find it rather hard to go mountain biking or off-roading if I sold my 4×4. I would also be struggling to take my surf board to the beach, go on road trips and visit my diverse selection of friends and family. Pretty much I would be stuck either working or hanging around the city.

        1. Sticking with the San Fran example:
          Roof rack for surfboards:
          Ute/pickup for chucking the MTBs in the back:

          Auckland currently doesn’t have this option – with any luck, losing some MPRs will create a viable market for such a service (right now Cityhop only has small cars for by-the-hour or day hire, and a little on the expensive side)

        2. I go mountain biking with my cousin and her partner. Funnily enough the three of us don’t drive out separately and meet at Woodhill, we only need one car between us. Last time I went on a road trip we had four in the car, I think the idea that everyone needs a legally mandated level of offstreet parking to enjoy weekends out of the city is a bit of a strawman.

        3. “and a little on the expensive side”. Maybe, but if you properly costed the ownership and running costs of a car and weighed them up against the cost per hour of actual use I suspect CityHop looks pretty good. In my case we’ve been able to go down to one (better) car rather than having 2, and City Hop is the backup for the odd occasion where needs coincide.

        4. Ok so looking at the San example, given we are talking the mixed housing zone and not the high intensity parts of Auckland you are proposing that people should ake their surf boards on the bus or train to one of these cars that arent located in the suburbs?

          Well that seems like a waste of a day.Fran exam

        5. Same here – I’m self employed and travel frequently from Mt Albert to various locations on the North Shore as part of that, and we went from two cars to one about 2010, I have a Cityhop card in my pocket for the rare occasion two cars are necessary. It’s just the cost of carshare in Auckland is not low enough and available enough yet for us to go to being a zero-car household. I hope for the day that it will be viable – one thirdof our property (not counting the ROW) is currently dedicated to storing and turning around our one car.

        6. No Lauren – you walk (or depending on where it is, ust PT) with nothing but your clothing, house keys and your wallet or purse (with your bus pass and your car access card in it), go and collect the car, bring it home, then load the surfboards/MTBs etc on to it. I do this with Cityhop cars when needed to move things around, sometimes I pick one up the evening before, take it home, load it up in the morning for the day’s errands before returning it, and bussing home.

        7. Well good for you super friends Nick, quite a few of us regular mountain bikers head out by ourselves rather than taking our family in tow. Similar for road trips those of us who do them every couple of weeks don’t tend to travel in the super friends wagon.

          The notion that every recreational activity or journey in a car requires multiple people is a bit strawman.

        8. Good for you Lauren and … well just Lauren by the look of it. You are free to continue to live in the many houses that do provide off-street parking. You just won’t be saving the $$$ that comes with not having to dedicate part of your land to car storage that the rest of us want the choice to have without having to live in the CBD to achieve it.

          As above, as a legal requirement, one third of our section is for storing and turning around two or three cars, of which we have just one. It’s a massive waste of space, we’d like to have the choice to decide for ourselves whether or not to convert our garage into something more useful, like another bedroom.

        9. SF Lauren, in some previous replies you said: “Liz, have you ever thought about living in one of the many parts of Auckland where you don’t need a car?… I’ve been finding it rather easy for the past 8 years.”

          And yet you say that we shouldn’t remove parking minimums, and that you “would also find it rather hard to go mountain biking or off-roading if [you] sold [your] 4×4”.

          I am really bored of you telling me to live in a suburb in which I don’t need a car, but where I am still forced to have a carpark for this non-existent car. You also have said that it’s easy to live in a suburb where you don’t need a car (and that you find it easy to get around using PT), despite some relevant issues that some commenters have raised about the frequency of PT outside peak hours and the lack of cross-town routes. And yet you also say that you need your car to regularly go mountain biking, whereas others say it’s possible without private car ownership. You also say that without your car “Pretty much I would be stuck either working or hanging around the city”, which seems to contradict your earlier posts saying that it’s perfectly possible to live without a car as long as you are in one of the old Auckland City suburbs.

          Please come up with some arguments that aren’t just contradicting the other commenters. And please stop saying that parking minimums are required in order to cater to all possible future purchasers of a property. No house has everything, and a carpark is very much an optional extra for some people, much like a swimming pool (as was pointed out in another post). And on much the same basis (excuse my made up statistics – they are for the purpose of the analogy only): 90% of Aucklanders have cars, so all houses must cater for cars. 90% of Aucklanders swim, so all houses must cater for swimmers. And yet we don’t have a rule mandating a minimum of one swimming pool per house.

          I’m glad that almost everyone else apart from SF Lauren and Phil have salient and interesting comments, otherwise the comments on this blog would be pretty unbearable. And that’s a shame, since (before this abuse of the comments by these two people) I really enjoyed reading the comments and thought that they allowed for lot of positive debate and information and just generally nutting things out. I hope that we can get back to that.

          Admins – sorry for quoting a post from one of the closed comment threads. If you want to delete this on that basis please feel free.

  21. Eliminating parking mins still allows developers to build houses with parking for that segment of the market who wants it – which is still probably most of the market.

    Anyone who suggests anything to the contrary (even when they say it but claim they didn’t despite the written evidence to the contrary) is just plain Strawman-ing

  22. Everything here is inter-related to giving alternative transport a fair go which we in Auckland have stifled by not opening up networks to alternative transport. If 50% public transport patronage and additional cyclists are achievable with current road widths and easy, reasonable fares…..isn’t not doing this just negligence on our natural environment (emissions in congestion) and building environment (wasted space due to carparking). In the Central Business District especially we need to see beyond cars. Time to start thinking that 50% is going to happen and plan for that both with parking allowances and the regional transport model so no planned excess to requirements. Planning on status quo is negligence in my opinion when the alternative is easy right now with a remark and cheap fares.

  23. Dedicated routes of travel for different modes. A one lane conversion to bus / truck everywhere -with priority signalisation where one lane is left for car mode. Time to just do it as the outer impacts are just going to get exponentially difficult. This needs a mandate from the top and soon.

  24. Given the mandate the ripple affect is massive. No congestion, friendlier roading environment, uptake in preferred sustainable modes, change in built environment which relates to this post. For some paint and some signal tweaks to drop in the centre?

  25. Auckroads 101 (2013):Left lane motorways Bus/Truck lane. All 4 lane roads left lane shared bus/truck and dedicated cycle lanes where possible or at least on main cycling routes. Easy cheap off-peak fare option to open up to mainstream family in the entire Auckland City. Buses/Trucks even in one lane each way advance loops for detection to green phase. New Level Of Service Criteria : Peds, Cyclists, Buses,Trucks then Cars in that order. Thats the Auckland fix ..why wait for 2030 put it in now?or waste massive amounts of time,space and money in the process.

  26. I know Auckland Transport is having a balancing mode requirements for NEW projects but why not change the entire network-existing road space right now with full networks as tiny unconnected segments is a joke and actually making things dangerous . Focus areas walking/cycling, on-road cycling, buses/trucks then cars. Time to fix up the wrong mode focus on what is built so far. Give the roadmarkers a plan start again. Phasing in is too PC and actually damaging to the process. Fire up the missing networks in one go-advising Auckland of one gigantic change (one big consultation-plus marketing cheap off-peak fares. Then watch the spikes for walking/cycling and buses (which leads to train patronage to max-balance with bus needs on the motorway). Then the entire focus on the built environment changes. Crikey by xmas you could have a complete cycle network, fantastic focus walking/cycling areas, freight moving freely and most families trying out the new bus network which is 1000 freely circulating buses (admitidly bus swapping on corners but freedom to move) covering all of Auckland. I really think this is do-able. Forget about the nightmare..time to reboot and focus on the dream.

  27. This is amusing. It is getting to the stage that I look forward to reading these comments mainly for the entertainment provided by malcontents like SF Lauren and Phil disagreeing with everything most contributors find positive, often tying themselves into perverse knots in the process. And on this particular topic there is the added comedy of role-reversal at-play. The “rightists” (presumably that’s how SFL and Phil consider themselves) argue for more regulation and legislative control (over private parking supply), while the “lefties” are all for letting the free market decide. You couldn’t script this better if you tried!

    Come down to Wellington where the topography has historically made it impossible to provide off-street parking for every dwelling and therefore many dwellings were built with no off-street parking, particularly in the inner-suburbs. Under today’s rules, many of those dwellings could not be built, and so the many people who live in them and benefit from them would instead be forced to live further out, thereby depleting the CBD of its nearby resident-population and likely reducing its vibrancy. Sure, there are problems with parked cars eating up space on already narrow streets, but restrictions and residents’ parking schemes have gone some way towards regulating this.

    I own and rent out a couple of flats in the inner suburbs with no off-street parking at all and guess what?: The tenants we most usually get are those who say they want to live within easy walking distance of city amenities SO THAT THEY DON’T HAVE TO OWN CARS!!! Our flats provide this for them, and at a significantly cheapler rent than equivalent properties with off-street parks would. Prospective tenants who own cars have the choice as to whether they avail themselves of the residents’ parking scheme, or whether they live elsewhere. Go the free market! In this instance it works, and the dynamics would be radically different if we had been mandated to provide off-street parking.

  28. “while the “lefties” are all for letting the free market decide. You couldn’t script this better if you tried!”

    I read a quote here (or on ATB’s twitter feed?) that conservatives tend to become devoted socialists once the matter is about car parking minimums! Choice and market forces suddenly become unimportant for them. “Laissez faire” becomes evil. So true.

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