Parking meters on commercial street
Parking meters on a commercial street in San Diego. Courtesy of the city

The San Diego City Council unanimously approved a change to the municipal code that eliminates minimum parking space requirements for many businesses. 

The change, effective Jan. 1, applies to building owners and commercial tenants in transit priority areas and commercial neighborhoods.

Businesses will have the option to provide as much parking as their customers need, or convert those spaces to other uses, such as outdoor dining. 

“Eliminating parking minimums for local businesses is yet another step in our movement to make San Diego neighborhoods more walkable, bikeable, accessible and sustainable. It also benefits our small businesses financially, allowing them to invest their money more strategically,” said Mayor Todd Gloria after the vote on Tuesday.

City officials said it costs a business an estimated $25,000 to create and maintain a parking space, and many go unused. 

This new policy also supports the city’s commitment to greenhouse gas emissions reduction required by the Climate Action Plan.  

The removal of parking minimums also means businesses will no longer be prevented from starting a new enterprise because their building doesn’t have enough parking.

Chris Jennewein is Editor & Publisher of Times of San Diego.