For the first time since Oakland’s parking regulations were drafted in 1965, the Oakland City Council has voted to reduce the amount of parking required for residential and commercial buildings in the city. The greatest reductions are in effect closest to major transit hubs, where new regulations reduce the required parking to zero and set a cap on the maximum parking allowed. Property owners are now also required to charge tenants separately for parking instead of including it with the rent, unless the tenants live in affordable housing.
Supporters of the new regulations say that the new regulations will not only reduce greenhouse gas emissions, but also reduce the cost of living for Oakland city residents, who pay the nation’s fourth-highest rents. But Jeff Levin, the policy director for the East Bay Housing Organizations, believes that the new regulations don’t ensure lower costs for residents, and calls instead for moderate income housing requirements.