Car-share parking proposal begins public review

Proposal would establish off-street parking regulations for car-share vehicles, such as those offered through Zipcar. On April 26, 2010, the City Planning Commission announced that the Department of City Planning’s proposed car-share parking zoning text amendment would begin a public review process. Car-sharing companies like Zipcar and Connect by Hertz provide vehicles to registered members on an as-needed basis for a fee.

The vehicles are typically available 24 hours a day. Members can reserve cars by phone or the internet and can pick up and drop off cars at the same location. Members are charged by the hour or by miles driven. According to Planning, New York City accounts for approximately one-third of national car-sharing memberships, and car-share members are less likely to purchase their own vehicle.

The City did not contemplate the concept of car sharing when parking regulations were created in 1961. As a result, the zoning resolution does not contain clear rules on where car share vehicles are permitted to park. Car-sharing companies are now looking to expand, and the amendment would establish regulations permitting car-share vehicles to park in certain off-street public and accessory parking facilities. The proposal would build on the City’s commitment to promote sustainable modes of transportation and to reduce air pollution and traffic congestion.

The amendment would define what qualifies as car-sharing vehicles, including requiring that vehicles be available through a 24-hour, self-service system for periods as brief as one hour. Car-share vehicles would be permitted to occupy up to 40 percent of spaces in public parking facilities and up to twenty percent of spaces within high-density residential group parking facilities. For group parking facilities with more than twenty spaces in lowerdensity multi-family residential districts, vehicles could occupy up to ten percent of spaces. Car-share vehicles could occupy up to ten percent of spaces in facilities with more than twenty spaces that are accessory to commercial, manufacturing, and community facility uses.

Car-share parking would not be permitted in one- and two-family residential districts, except in parking facilities accessory to colleges and creatuniversities. Individual garage operators would be permitted to choose whether to allow car-share vehicles.

The Commission referred the amendment to community boards, borough boards, and borough presidents for a 60-day review period.

CPC: Car Share Text Amendment (N100284 ZRY – text. amend.) (April 26, 2010).

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