Community, Syracuse

SYR Common Councilor Pushes to end ‘Parking Minimums’

The Marshall serves as an example of Michael Greene's vision to rid the City of Syracuse of 'Parking Minimums.' (c) 2018 Zach Lang

Video Transcript: Z LANG ZONING LAWS 23APR18 SCRIPT

By Zach Lang SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News)– Common Councilor Michael Greene has made it his personal goal to to stop the addition of parking spaces with new apartment complexes in the city of Syracuse.

Zoning laws require new buildings outside of Downtown Syracuse to construct parking spaces during the building process. Factors for the specific number of spaces include area of the building and purpose of the building. Greene’s main focus is on apartment buildings, which require a minimum of one parking space to be built for every apartment within the complex.

Greene believes more parking lots and garages in the city are unnecessary. Instead, he believes the space would benefit the city more if used for more housing complexes or businesses. A decrease in available lots would also push for urban citizens to use alternative forms of transportation like bikes, buses, or just walking.

“What I’m not trying to do is tell someone they can’t build parking,” Greene said. “What I’m saying is we’re not going to force you to build parking.”

While the zoning laws are still in effect, an example of Greene’s proposal can be found at The Marshall near Syracuse University. The building is still being constructed just behind Marshall Street, but doing so without the addition of new parking spaces. Instead, staff are suggesting to future residents with cars to look into the University’s parking system or the nearby Sheraton parking garage.

The apartment complex was supposed to add 223 spaces according to the zoning laws. However, the Syracuse Planning Commission voted unanimously to wave the requirement.

“Someone might build an apartment complex right next to a transit line, or right next to a school or someone’s work and they might say ‘Hey, the type of customer we’re going to attract doesn’t need parking,'” Greene said. “Therefore, we shouldn’t need to build it.”

The Marshall will be completed before the fall 2018 semester. (c) 2018 Zach Lang