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Cincinnati removes parking minimums for new developments in parts of the West End

Map showing where the urban parking overlay will apply (areas outlined in black and white).
City of Cincinnati
Map showing where the urban parking overlay will apply (areas outlined in black and white).

New developments in parts of the West End no longer have to build off-street parking. Council voted unanimously Wednesday to approve an urban parking overlay district for the neighborhood.

City code requires a certain number of parking spaces per square foot of commercial space or per unit for housing. A parking overlay removes all requirements for parking minimums in the designated area.

The overlay includes most of Linn Street between Court and York. Senior City Planner Stacey Hoffman says the West End Community Council requested the change.

“The current parking requirements are emphasizing more of a suburban development pattern,” Hoffman said. “[They] increase development costs, endanger the urban fabric and historic character of the West End, and again, they're seen as a barrier to development.”

Hoffman says the community council wanted to eliminate parking minimums only for retail and commercial developments, but that would have required a lengthier process to amend. Instead, city administration worked with the community council to identify specific boundaries along Linn St., mostly zoned commercial.

“This corner here at Ezzard Charles and Linn Streets: this is actually residential multifamily zoned property,” Hoffman said. “And that has been included because the community has said that they've had a lot of interest in that, but that they've been running into barriers, such as parking, when they've tried to redevelop it.”

Council created the urban parking overlay tool nearly a decade ago. It’s already in use in Over-the-Rhine/Downtown and Camp Washington.

Local Government Reporter with a particular focus on Cincinnati; experienced journalist in public radio and television throughout the Midwest. Enthusiastic about: civic engagement, public libraries, and urban planning.