What’s making news in Minneapolis, reported by the Star Tribune’s team of city reporters. Send news tips to suzanne.ziegler@startribune.com.

Looser parking requirements for Univ.-area developments?

Posted by: Eric Roper Updated: January 25, 2013 - 4:31 PM

A City Council member is proposing new parking rules for the University area that could alleviate concerns about a lack of parking for local busineses in Dinkytown.

New apartment buildings springing up in the area have gobbled up commercial parking spaces, according to local business leaders. That's partly because of a city rule that requires extra resident parking for developments around the University.

The citywide requirement is at least one parking space per unit, but around the University it is half a space per bedroom -- and not less than one per unit. The requirement was originally intended to address on-street parking pressures that came with new, densely packed student housing units.

Loosening the requirement could theoretically allow developers -- such as Opus, which is planning to build in the heart of Dinkytown -- to offer more parking stalls for public use.

"There's an interest in changing," said council member Cam Gordon, who is proposing a change.  "And I think there might be some common ground." 

Gordon doesn't know what the new rules should be. He said it could involve lowering the stall requirement to .25 per bedroom, exempting larger buildings so they adhere to the citywide rules, or exempting projects near transit stops.

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