Monday, September 22, 2008

Very Cool House

Article and full slideshow here, showing the house of D.C. urban designer and CNU member Jeff Speck on a flatiron lot in D.C.

More on the Speck's, who don't own a car and had to get a variance to not provide off-street parking in their quirky, dimensionally restrictive lot. Portland eliminated these parking requirements years ago and you can bet I'll be pushing for that in Dallas.

As I've said many a time on here, the parking provision in a structured format at $15-to-18K per parking spaceis an economic barrier to investment in downtown. My building's garage is built at so-called "market" rate, i.e. suburban standards for a grocery store, cafe/bar, and 120-unit residential building, yet I never see it more than half full.

For a developer, however, seeking a variance may not be an option."

If you're working off borrowed money, you're not going to wait nine
months," Jeff Speck said.

As a result, developers of some recent D.C. projects have ended up with more parking than actually gets used, Tregoning said.

"We're forcing people to invest in spaces for automobiles rather than in spaces for
people," she said. "There's no way to recover that use."