Mandatory minimum parking requirements in Dunwoody could be on the way out as officials look for ways to create a more urban, pedestrian-friendly city.

The Planning Commission on June 11 voted to recommend amending the city’s zoning code to change the minimum motor vehicle parking ratios to maximum ratios. This would apply to all parking throughout the city. The recommendation now goes to the City Council.

“As the city of Dunwoody transitions towards a more urban, pedestrian-friendly environment, minimum off-street motor vehicle parking requirements have yielded a surplus of parking and placed an unnecessary burden on new developments, especially in the Perimeter Center Area,” Planner Ronnie Kurtz wrote in memo to commissioners.

Kurtz added that the February 2019 edition of the ITE Journal published by the Institute of Transportation Engineers recommends eliminating mandatory minimum parking requirements to “encourage sustainable development [and] promote active transportation.”

City staff also finds it more prudent to allow the market to establish the minimum amount of parking needed to meet demand at a site, he said.

In one example, the zoning code currently requires a minimum of 6.67 spaces per 1,000 feet for a restaurant. The proposed amendment makes the 6.67 spaces the maximum number of parking spaces.

Developers wanting to build more parking than recommended by the proposed zoning change would be able to apply for a special land use permit. As part of the SLUP, they would be required to build a multi-level parking deck.

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Dyana Bagby

Dyana Bagby is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers and Atlanta Intown.