I wanted to see if this was something else that FAN wanted to weigh in on also. Currently, restaurants and other businesses aren’t allowed to use available street metered parking spaces to count towards the minimum parking that they need for city parking requirements making is hard for businesses to meet parking requirements in central Austin areas. There was a resolution that was originally proposed by Chris Riley that would allow this and the City Council passed on first reading. It was on the agenda for the August 5 City Council Mobility Committee (http://www.austintexas.gov/edims/document.cfm?id=235465), but hasn’t gone anywhere since then. Maybe FAN could bring attention to the resolution again and try to bring it back up for discussion.
One example of a business that would benefit from this change is Casa de Luz. I’ve included an Austin Monitor article about their situation below. They originally leased their required parking from next door businesses to meet their parking requirements, but those lots were later developed into condos/residential uses and they then lost their leases on the spaces. Now, since they no longer have those parking spaces, the city is threatening to shut them down. The city gave them two options, they could pave over most of their lot to make room for more parking, which includes gardens and grounds for children that go to the school on the front of the lot or install a fire sprinkler system. However, they aren’t allowed to get a permit for the sprinkler system without the required parking, so they only really have one option currently, which is pave over most of their lot for parking. The street already has metered parking that their customers use that drive. A lot of their customers walk or bike there already though.
I think reduced parking minimums in most situations city wide fits in with FANs vision of allowing “diverse, abundant, and affordable choice of housing options.” Walkable restaurants like Casa de Luz allow for “complete communities, with families and people of all ages and socio-economic backgrounds, and with a variety of employment, goods, services, and transit accessible to all residents.”