The July 22 editorial “Barking over parking,” on reductions the D.C. Office of Planning is contemplating in the minimum number of parking spaces for new commercial buildings, belied an understanding of the current zoning code as well as of the proposed revisions.
After virtually ignoring the Zoning Regulations Review over the past five years, The Post now congratulates a city administration that is apathetic or antipathetic to development of validated data upon which to base its policies. The Post adopted the “white elephant” garage in Columbia Heights to support a fallacious assertion of too many underground parking spaces in the District. In fact, the garage beneath Target, which is underused, is a singular situation, resulting from the terms of one development deal. Neither the Office of Planning nor anyone else can identify other sites where underground parking goes unused.
Moreover, parking-space construction has nothing to do with affordable housing. Market rental and sale prices are just that: what willing buyers will pay. Developers are not going to forgo additional profit because the Office of Planning has a thing about cars.
Unfortunately, it is the neighbors of multi-family projects who suffer from parking congestion, which the editorial admitted is a serious issue. Parking spaces cannot be inserted under commercial buildings once built. It is self-evident that cars not parked underground will compete for parking spaces on the street.
Allen Seeber, Washington