Off-Street Parking Standards

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

Consultation has concluded

Off-stteet parking lot with cars



What are Parking Standards?

Whenever a new commercial or residential development or expansion is undertaken in London, the city is responsible for determining how many parking spaces are needed.

The Zoning By-law is the main method to regulate the amount of off-street automobile and bicycle parking in these new or expanded developments.


Parking Standards Review

The City of London initiated a Parking Standards Review as part of ReThink Zoning. Since parking regulations is different from other Zoning regulations, a separate report has been prepared for discussion. The Parking Standards Background Study includes:

  • guiding principles,
  • goals, and
  • objectives for this parking standards review.

Also included in the Background Study are different options to regulate off-street parking standards. The study also examines how the different options support London’s sustainability, climate action, housing affordability, placemaking, active transportation and transit goals.
.

Why is a Parking Standards Review necessary?

The City of London’s existing Zoning By-law and associated parking standards have been in force since 1993, to implement the 1989 Official Plan.

Section 4.19 includes off-street parking requirements for 196 different uses, prescribing a specific parking ratio based on each use (e.g., apartment building, office or retail). Further, London is divided in three Parking Standard Areas (PSA). Each PSA has different parking ratios based on the land use and size of development.

Because these Parking Standards in the existing Zoning By-law are over 28 years old, a review is needed to make sure that the parking requirements reflect current parking demand and the emerging trends in the transportation sector:

  • New private sector transportation services are emerging
  • Younger generations are becoming more multi-modal and less car dependent.
  • Driverless Cars are on the horizon
  • As mobility options increase, the need for parking will decrease

The ReThink Zoning process, leading to a new zoning by-law, is an opportunity to move away from the outdated parking policies towards a different way of providing parking. As an alternative to the Parking Standard Areas that existed previously, The London Plan offers a new approach where parking ratios are no longer about just accommodating cars, but just as importantly also about realizing Place Type and urban design objectives.

Three Parking Approaches

There are three main approaches that municipalities in Canada use to regulate the amount of parking required for homes and businesses. They include:

  • Minimum Parking Requirements – where a minimum number of parking spaces is required for different land uses.
  • Maximum Parking Requirements – where a maximum number of parking spaces is required for different land uses.
  • Open Parking Requirements – where regulations do not dictate minimum or maximum requirements, and the market determines how much parking will be provided.

The figure below summarizes these approaches, and the influence the different parking approaches have on the urban built form:


What has happened so far and what comes next?

The Parking Standards Review Background Report was received and circulated to the Planning & Environment Committee (PEC) on November 22, 2021. The options explored in the Background Study, including:

  • minimum parking requirements
  • open option requirements, and
  • maximum parking requirements

provide a framework for better off-street parking standards that achieve the London Plan vision to accomplish a compact form of development and build a sustainable city. The report and Background Study were then circulated to stakeholders and the public to ensure that Londoners have opportunities to provide input on the regulation of off-street parking in our city.

What is the status of the Parking Standards Review?

Municipal Council approved the updated Parking Standards Review in August 2022. Section 4.19 of the Zoning By-law has been amended so that minimum parking requirements will not apply within the Downtown, Transit Village, Rapid Transit Corridor and Main Street Place Types.

Minimum parking requirements have been reduced in other parts of the City, and regulation for bicycle and accessible parking requirements have been strengthened.

Want to know more? Please find the Staff Report and by-law on the right of the page.


ReThink Zoning

The City of London is in the process of creating a new comprehensive Zoning By-Law, with a new project called ReThink Zoning. The new Zoning By-law will implement the policies and directions outlined in the City’s Official Plan, The London Plan, which was approved by City Council in 2016. Since The London Plan completely replaces the 1989 Official Plan, a new By-law must be prepared to implement its policies. The London Plan provides direction on many zoning matters, and ReThink Zoning will prepare a Zoning By-law that will fully implement the vision and direction of The London Plan.

Stay Informed

Sign up to receive information, find out about upcoming (virtual) public information meetings, and receive updates using the “Stay Informed” button, located top right of this page.



What are Parking Standards?

Whenever a new commercial or residential development or expansion is undertaken in London, the city is responsible for determining how many parking spaces are needed.

The Zoning By-law is the main method to regulate the amount of off-street automobile and bicycle parking in these new or expanded developments.


Parking Standards Review

The City of London initiated a Parking Standards Review as part of ReThink Zoning. Since parking regulations is different from other Zoning regulations, a separate report has been prepared for discussion. The Parking Standards Background Study includes:

  • guiding principles,
  • goals, and
  • objectives for this parking standards review.

Also included in the Background Study are different options to regulate off-street parking standards. The study also examines how the different options support London’s sustainability, climate action, housing affordability, placemaking, active transportation and transit goals.
.

Why is a Parking Standards Review necessary?

The City of London’s existing Zoning By-law and associated parking standards have been in force since 1993, to implement the 1989 Official Plan.

Section 4.19 includes off-street parking requirements for 196 different uses, prescribing a specific parking ratio based on each use (e.g., apartment building, office or retail). Further, London is divided in three Parking Standard Areas (PSA). Each PSA has different parking ratios based on the land use and size of development.

Because these Parking Standards in the existing Zoning By-law are over 28 years old, a review is needed to make sure that the parking requirements reflect current parking demand and the emerging trends in the transportation sector:

  • New private sector transportation services are emerging
  • Younger generations are becoming more multi-modal and less car dependent.
  • Driverless Cars are on the horizon
  • As mobility options increase, the need for parking will decrease

The ReThink Zoning process, leading to a new zoning by-law, is an opportunity to move away from the outdated parking policies towards a different way of providing parking. As an alternative to the Parking Standard Areas that existed previously, The London Plan offers a new approach where parking ratios are no longer about just accommodating cars, but just as importantly also about realizing Place Type and urban design objectives.

Three Parking Approaches

There are three main approaches that municipalities in Canada use to regulate the amount of parking required for homes and businesses. They include:

  • Minimum Parking Requirements – where a minimum number of parking spaces is required for different land uses.
  • Maximum Parking Requirements – where a maximum number of parking spaces is required for different land uses.
  • Open Parking Requirements – where regulations do not dictate minimum or maximum requirements, and the market determines how much parking will be provided.

The figure below summarizes these approaches, and the influence the different parking approaches have on the urban built form:


What has happened so far and what comes next?

The Parking Standards Review Background Report was received and circulated to the Planning & Environment Committee (PEC) on November 22, 2021. The options explored in the Background Study, including:

  • minimum parking requirements
  • open option requirements, and
  • maximum parking requirements

provide a framework for better off-street parking standards that achieve the London Plan vision to accomplish a compact form of development and build a sustainable city. The report and Background Study were then circulated to stakeholders and the public to ensure that Londoners have opportunities to provide input on the regulation of off-street parking in our city.

What is the status of the Parking Standards Review?

Municipal Council approved the updated Parking Standards Review in August 2022. Section 4.19 of the Zoning By-law has been amended so that minimum parking requirements will not apply within the Downtown, Transit Village, Rapid Transit Corridor and Main Street Place Types.

Minimum parking requirements have been reduced in other parts of the City, and regulation for bicycle and accessible parking requirements have been strengthened.

Want to know more? Please find the Staff Report and by-law on the right of the page.


ReThink Zoning

The City of London is in the process of creating a new comprehensive Zoning By-Law, with a new project called ReThink Zoning. The new Zoning By-law will implement the policies and directions outlined in the City’s Official Plan, The London Plan, which was approved by City Council in 2016. Since The London Plan completely replaces the 1989 Official Plan, a new By-law must be prepared to implement its policies. The London Plan provides direction on many zoning matters, and ReThink Zoning will prepare a Zoning By-law that will fully implement the vision and direction of The London Plan.

Stay Informed

Sign up to receive information, find out about upcoming (virtual) public information meetings, and receive updates using the “Stay Informed” button, located top right of this page.

Consultation has concluded

Here's an example, to start your creative questions flowing:


Q:

Is there any reason why parking minimums still need to be a thing for vehicles? Can they instead be replaced with parking maximums for cars and trucks and instead include parking minimums and quantitative design elements for active transportation like cycling? For example, secure bicycle parking must be at ground level rather than up or down a parking ramp.

A:

Great question! A Background Study has been prepared that explores the City of London’s current parking standards and explores different options to regulate parking to support London’s goals around sustainability, climate action, affordability, active transportation and transit.

The options explored in the Background Study, including:

  • minimum parking requirements
  • open option standards, and
  • maximum parking requirements

provide a framework for better off-street parking standards that achieve the London Plan vision to accomplish a compact form of development and build a sustainable city. Instead of relying on Parking Standard Areas that predate the new official plan, the London Plan provides for a new approach where parking ratios are no longer about just accommodating cars, but just as importantly also about meeting Place Type and urban design objectives. The existing bicycle parking standards in the Zoning By-law are also being reviewed to ensure adequate bicycle parking facilities for all developments to encourage cycling as a viable form of transportation.

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    I live in a seniors only building where there is no parking for visitors or even overnight guests. What can be done about this?

    Patti asked almost 2 years ago

    Thank you for your question. The Parking Standards Review is a project looking at the numerical parking requirements for new commercial or residential development. We are considering visitor parking for future developments but these policies wouldn’t apply to an existing senior building.

  • Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link

    How will the Climate Emergency Action Plan play into the decision for parking minimums if the plan relies heavily on getting more Londoner's to travel by bike or walking? Will the city be removing parking minimums like other cities are now doing to encourage more incremental development (from small businesses)?

    cmccreery asked almost 2 years ago

    The Climate Emergency Action Plan identifies the need to change our mobility habits and shift towards active and more sustainable modes of transportation like walking, cycling and transit. We are carefully considering different parking approaches, including removing parking minimums city-wide or in certain areas of the city. One policy change on its own won’t singlehandedly change mobility patterns and get us out of cars and onto bikes, busses and sidewalks but the parking review is part of it. When we require large parking areas and excessive amount of parking, it reinforces the car-oriented city form. As an alternative approach, better alignment of the provided parking supply and parking demand would provide more choice and flexibility for businesses as they can choose locations or type of developments based on what suits the needs of their customers.