Sierra Club opposes San Francisco parking space proposal 

click to enlarge Supervisor Scott Wiener has proposed allowing between two and five car-share spots on top of the maximum allowable parking spaces at residential developments. - COURTESY PHOTO
  • Courtesy Photo
  • Supervisor Scott Wiener has proposed allowing between two and five car-share spots on top of the maximum allowable parking spaces at residential developments.

Developers of residential projects would be able to exceed parking caps by adding spaces designated only for car sharing, under legislation that advanced out of committee Monday.

While the proposal was praised by supervisors on the board’s Land Use and Economic Development Committee, others called the legislation a wrongheaded approach to tackling the adverse environmental impacts associated with cars.

Supervisor Scott Wiener, who proposed the legislation, said The City should do what it can to increase car sharing since it’s “a critical part of our transportation system.”

He said that “car-sharing companies are telling us they are having real challenges to finding available spots” and these kinds of spaces vanish when gas stations or open-air parking lots are built upon.

Car-sharing spots are counted toward a developer’s maximum allowed parking for projects, which Wiener said was a “disincentive” to include such spaces.

Under the proposal, between two and five car-share spots would be allowed on top of the maximum allowable parking spaces, which varies depending on a project’s size.

The Sierra Club opposes the proposal.

“The Sierra Club notes that increasing the number of allowable parking spaces — even car share spaces — violates the Transit First policy of the city, as doing so will add to overall congestion and negatively impact the flow of transit and air quality,” read a letter from Bay Area chapter Secretary Sue Vaughn.

Critics would rather have The City convert existing parking spaces, such as those on streets or in hotel garages, to car-share spots.

But the supervisors have a different view. The legislation was approved unanimously, gaining support from the other committee members, Supervisor Jane Kim and board President David Chiu.

Wiener said the issue is important in his district. A recently approved 24-unit development at Castro and Market streets was allowed to have half a parking space per unit under the planning code and so included 12 parking spaces and none for car sharing. Wiener said both the community and the developer wanted to have car-sharing spaces, but Wiener said the developer “could not afford to remove any of the 12 spots from private automobile parking.”

The full Board of Supervisors is expected to vote on the legislation Feb. 12.

jsabatini@sfexaminer.com

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