Real Property Law

California Assembly Bill 2097: Eliminating Parking Minimums for New Developments Near Major Transit Stops

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By: J.J. Sherman, Law Offices of J.J. Sherman, P.C. and Myaysa Evans, St. John’s University School of Law

California Assembly Bill 2097 (AB 2097), signed by Governor Gavin Newsom on September 22, 2022, is a California state law that prohibits a public agency from imposing or enforcing any minimum automobile parking requirement on a residential, commercial or other development project located within one-half mile of a major transit stop.i   

How does one assess if a project is AB 2097 eligible? 

The process may vary according to city or county.   For property located in the City of Los Angeles, to assess whether a development is eligible to qualify under AB 2097, one can visit the  Zone Information and Map Access System (ZIMAS) at http://zimas.lacity.org

One can enter the address in the pop-up window, click the “Planning and Zoning” menu on the left side of the screen, and then scroll down to the “AB 2097 Reduced Parking Areas” field. 

Where does AB 2097 not apply? 

AB 2097 does not apply to any project that is more than one-half mile of a major transit stop.  It also does not apply where a portion of the project is designated for use as a hotel, motel, bed and breakfast inn, or other transient lodging.  In addition, AB 2097 does allow a public agency to impose or enforce minimum automobile parking requirements on a project that is located within one-half mile of public transit if the public agency finds that not imposing or enforcing minimum automobile parking requirements on the development would have a substantially negative impact on (i) the city’s, county’s or city and county’s ability to meet its share of the regional housing need for low- and very low- income households,  (ii) the city’s, county’s or city and county’s ability to meet any special housing needs for the elderly or persons with disabilities, or (iii) existing residential or commercial parking within one-half mile of the housing development project.ii 

AB 2097 promotes public policy 

AB 2097 is designed to promote sustainable development and transportation choices throughout the State of California.    It is intended to change the status quo, since before AB 2097 was signed into law, many California cities demanded that developers build residential and commercial developments with a minimum of on-site parking.  

The policy behind AB 2097 is found in the bill text.    Section 65863.2 of the CA Government Code states, “the Legislature finds and declares that the imposition of mandatory parking minimums can increase the cost of housing, limit the number of available units, lead to an oversupply of parking spaces, and increased greenhouse gas emissions.   Therefore, this section shall be interpreted in favor of the prohibition of the imposition of mandatory parking minimums as outlined in this Section.”iii 

Furthermore, in Section 3 of the bill adopting AB 2097, the legislature writes, “The Legislature finds and declares that to lower the cost of housing production by reducing unnecessary parking requirements is a matter of statewide concern and is not a municipal affair as that term is used in Section 5 of Article XI of the California Constitution.   Therefore, Section 2 of this act adding Section 65863.2 to the Government Code applies to all cities, including charter cities.”iv 

Practical Considerations for Commercial Real Estate Developers and their Tenants 

While AB 2097 removes the minimum parking requirement from a new development located near a major transit stop, developers still need to assess parking needs for the new development and may elect to include some on-site parking based on market need.    In addition, prior to signing leases at new developments, as part of their due diligence, tenants should inquire what parking will be available to their employees and customers at the development.   If a development is AB 2097 eligible, and the developer plans to provide minimal or no parking at the development site, then the prospective tenant must consider, from a practical perspective, whether it will need to secure alternate parking spaces (i.e., parking agreements with nearby garage/lots) for its employees and customers.  

For more information on this or other commercial real estate law topics, visit the website for Law Offices of J.J. Sherman, P.C. 
 

This communication is for informational purposes only. It is not intended to create an attorney-client relationship or constitute an advertisement, a solicitation, or professional advice as to any particular situation. If this communication is considered advertising, then it is herewith identified as such. This communication does not constitute a guarantee, warranty or prediction regarding the result of representation. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. 


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