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Boston drops parking requirements for affordable housing

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Codes and Standards

Boston drops parking requirements for affordable housing

Measure expected to spur new projects.


By Peter Fabris, Contributing Editor | January 5, 2022
Boston

Courtesy Pixabay

The Boston Zoning Commission approved the elimination of parking standards for many affordable housing developments.

The ruling applies to new buildings where at least 60% of apartments are set aside at below-market rents. The measure is expected to lower the cost of building affordable housing by clearing a common legal roadblock.

In most sections of the city, new residential buildings are required to have a certain number of parking spaces per unit based partly on proximity to a public transportation station. Eligible projects would be exempt from rules mandating a minimum number of parking spaces per unit in many parts of the city.

Developers often seek exemptions to parking rules, noting that garage parking can add tens of thousands of dollars per unit to the project cost. Neighbors sometimes resist those exemptions, concerned that residents of the new building will raise competition for scarce street parking.

The disputes sometimes land in court, further driving up costs.

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