More Housing, More Business, Lower Costs: What Happens When Parking Mandates are Reduced

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October 6, 2022

What Happens When Parking Mandates are Reduced?

These resources are part of an overall effort of the department to support to communities tasked with implementing the rules to reduce climate pollution, increase transportation and housing choices, and create more equitable outcomes.

More Housing, More Business, Lower Costs, and Parking Still Supplied

New Oregon standards reduce how much parking can be mandated by local governments in metro areas.

Reducing one-size-fits-all parking mandates isn’t new. It’s been done for decades, around the world and in Oregon, with significant success.

Cities that eased parking mandates have often seen reduced housing costs, increased business development, and more diverse developments, with creative approaches to providing parking.

Most builders in communities without parking mandates still provide some parking with new developments. Some provide less than previously mandated, or provide it off-site. Others provide more than previously mandated, as their market analysis or lenders indicate that's what their customers want. This is how most builders currently act; for example, a student-focused development on the edge of Corvallis provided 2.7 spaces per unit, higher than mandated.

After seeing outcomes, communities instituting reforms have retained or expanded them.

There are likely already examples in your community or a nearby community without parking minimums, either in code or by variance. Many Oregon communities have no parking requirements for commercial downtown developments (for example, Hillsboro, Monmouth, Milwaukie, Forest Grove, and Stayton). Others have no or limited parking mandates in downtowns at all (Salem, Coburg, Eugene, Portland).


  • Salem gave a variance for a new housing development, and subsequently reduced parking mandates in its downtown, along transit corridors, and for traditional missing middle housing types.
  • Eugene saw the construction of two large parking garages as part of a residential downtown development, though no parking was required.
  • Oregon City saw creative, more affordable infill housing, after waiving mandates for single-family homes.
  • Tigard repealed parking mandates in the Tigard Triangle in 2017, and has seen healthy redevelopment levels in the area since. Builders have included off-street parking, slightly under the old requirements.
  • Madras recently repealed parking mandates in its downtown, aiming to spur business development.
  • Minneapolis, MN saw typical rents of studio apartments fall 17% (from $1200 to $1000) in buildings without parking.
  • Fargo, ND (pop. 125,000) saw a downtown economic renaissance, with new businesses and thousands of new residents, after repealing parking mandates.
  • Buffalo, NY (pop. 255,000) saw significant new development after repealing parking mandates, with single-use projects providing more than previous requirements, on average, and mixed-use projects providing less.
  • San Diego, CA saw a five-fold increase in affordable housing, and an increase in market-rate housing, after adopting reforms including parking reforms. The city later cut commercial parking mandates.
  • Los Angeles, CA saw a four-fold increase in downtown housing development, focused on redevelopment of older buildings. Units provided an average of 1.2 spaces per unit; about 40% were off-site.
  • Seattle, WA saw builders saving $537 million ($30,000 per unit) over five years after reducing mandates near transit and in centers. Still, two-thirds of developments provided more parking than mandated.

A five-page document providing further details of these experiences and a list of other communities without parking mandates is available on our web site. Corrections, updates, or questions about this document should be sent to

Parking Resources

A host of parking resources are available on the implementation web page.

These supplement other resources on the Transportation and Growth Management program parking resources web page.

Office Hours

In October and November, DLCD staff will host “office hours” to provide support to communities tasked with implementing the Climate-Friendly and Equitable Communities rules. While office hours sessions are drop-in and will mainly just be staff answering questions, we will provide any updates that are timely.

October 24, 2022
* We will go through the alternative dates guidance and take questions
9:30 am - 10:30 am
(Zoom link)

November 14, 2022
9:30 am - 10:30 am 
(Zoom link)

Individual questions may always be sent to DLCD staff; contact or if you are uncertain who to reach out to.

Implementation Web Page