Trenton – A bill authored by Senator Paul Sarlo and Senator Troy Singleton would spur transit-oriented residential development by reducing the number of required parking spaces for new projects that are near public transportation services. The legislation, S-3605, was approved by the Senate today with a vote of 22-13.
“This is a winning initiative because it will increase the supply of housing, decrease the number of motor vehicles on the road, and boost the use of mass transit,” said Senator Sarlo (D-Bergen), who chairs the Senate Budget Committee. “Transit-focused residential development is a strategic way of generating economic benefits in environmentally-friendly ways in communities throughout the state.”
The bill would require the Commissioner of Community Affairs to adopt regulations reducing the currently required on- and off-street parking spaces by 20, 30, or 50 percent, depending on a residential development’s proximity to public transportation services.
“Reducing parking space requirements can help create more livable, walkable, and sustainable communities while also providing cost savings and increasing the housing supply,” said Senator Singleton (D-Burlington), who chairs the Senate Community and Urban Affairs Committee. “A shift towards sustainable transportation will reduce emissions and bring more activity to downtown communities.”
The state’s Site Improvement Standards for Residential Development contain specific parking requirements for residential development projects, with the number of required spaces based on the type of residential unit and the number of bedrooms in each unit. Townhouses and other attached dwellings require two parking spots for each unit, single-family homes require one space, and multi-family units require an escalating number according to the number of bedrooms.
The bill would decrease the parking space requirement by 50 percent for projects within a quarter mile of a passenger rail station, subway stop, regularly-used bus stops or ferry service. The reductions would be 30 percent for projects between one-quarter and a half mile and 20 percent for those between one-half and one mile.