The City of Cambridge has officially removed off-street parking requirements from the city's zoning code in an effort to legalize the construction of new housing and commercial spaces for car-free residents and workers in the city.
"The minimum accessory parking required for all uses shall be zero (0) parking spaces," according to the zoning language that passed in last night's City Council meeting in an 8-1 vote.
In the months since then, staff drafted the new language, vetted it in the city's Ordinance Committee, and sent it to the full City Council for a first reading earlier this month.
Councilor Dennis Carlone was the only city councilor to oppose the amendment at the second reading last night.
“This is an easy win when one-third of Cambridge households don’t own a car,” Councilor Azeem told StreetsblogMASS in April. “Parking spaces cost tens of thousands of dollars per spot to build, which in turn makes rents higher, and it’s space that can’t be used for housing. It’s an unfair subsidy for car owners, and it’s unfair of the city to require it when most of our residents don’t use it.”
According to 2021 American Community Survey estimates, the city missed that goal, with about 0.87 cars per household. But it is making progress: in 2013, there were an estimated 0.93 vehicles per household in the city.