Amendment requires wide range of developments to provide indoor bicycle parking space. On April 22, 2009, the City Council approved the Department of City Planning’s bicycle parking text amendment. The amendment requires developers to include secure indoor bicycle storage space in new buildings, conversions to residential use, and enlargements of 50 percent or more. The new requirements apply to multifamily residential, community facility, and commercial uses, as well as public parking garages. The number of spaces required differs among uses and will not count against floor area limitations. 6 CityLand 25 (March 15, 2009).
The City Planning Commission revised the proposal to address concerns raised during its public review of the plan. The modifications allowed the Commissioner of Housing Preservation and Development to grant a waiver or reduce the requirements for affordable housing developments, and changed the formula used to calculate the required storage space for dormitories in order to make enforcement less challenging. 6 CityLand 43 (April 15, 2009).
At Council’s March 31st Zoning & Franchises Subcommittee hearing, Amanda M. Burden, Chair of the City Planning Commission, and Howard Slatkin, Deputy Director of Strategic Planning at the Department of City Planning, gave a detailed description of the proposed regulations. After the presentation, Chair Tony Avella criticized Planning’s decision to exclude the required bicycle storage space from floor area limitations. Avella characterized the exemption as a “bonus,” and stated that developers should not be rewarded for “doing the right thing.” Avella also expressed concerns that the proposal would allow developers to avoid the storage requirements if they simply received building permits rather than “having shovels in the ground” before the amendment’s approval. Avella believed this approach deviated from Planning’s usual practice, and questioned whether this amendment would set a precedent for future zoning text amendments. Avella laid over the vote to further discuss these issues.
The Subcommittee reconvened on April 22nd, and approved the amendment with only Council Member Simcha Felder voting no. The Land Use Committee approved the amendment, and the full Council followed suit.
Council: Bicycle Parking (N 090191 ZRY – text amend.) (April 22, 2009).