New developments in Austin will no longer be required to include a set amount of parking after City Council voted to strike parking minimums citywide Nov. 2.

The gist

In May, officials moved to remove Austin’s long-standing minimum parking mandates from city code based on a resolution from Council Member Zo Qadri. He and supporters of the change said those rules, based on calculations for different projects across Austin, were an unnecessary barrier to new construction.

The push was also based on affordability. Qadri and other advocates said mandated parking meant added costs for developments, as spaces can cost anywhere from thousands to tens of thousands of dollars each to construct.

The update is expected to help with the cost of living at new developments, according to city staff. A review conducted ahead of council’s vote rated the changes as having a positive impact on affordability, with the potential to lower rents, add more housing units in new projects and close equity gaps.

What they’re saying

“It gobbles up scarce land,” Qadri said of parking minimums Nov. 2. “It adds burdensome costs to developments that get passed on to renters and buyers. It makes it harder for small businesses to get off the ground. And it harms walkability and actively works against our public investments in transit, bike lanes, trails and sidewalks.”

Council members Alison Alter and Mackenzie Kelly voted no on the ordinance. Alter said getting rid of parking requirements may have unintended consequences.

“I think that our existing parking requirements do need reform, and there are many scenarios where I would relax or eliminate parking requirements, [but] this universal elimination of requirements is a step beyond what I consider to be prudent,” Alter said Nov. 2.

During a public hearing on the changes Nov. 2, residents expressed support for the item, citing affordability and accessibility.

“Parking mandates are bad for neighborhoods,” Friends of Austin Neighborhoods member Roger Cauvin said Nov. 2. “Parking mandates reduce the abundance and diversity of housing that people may build within the constraints of their land, making our neighborhoods less inclusive.”

What’s next

While council advanced the ordinance wiping out parking mandates across multiple sections of Austin’s land development code, allotments for accessible parking spaces will still be maintained. City staff said the revised policies were supported by the American Disabled for Attendant Programs Today.

A few neighborhoods with localized zoning plans—Hyde Park, North Hyde Park, North University and Fairview Park—will also be exempted from any changes to their established parking minimums for now, although updates are planned for those areas in the future.

For more information, visit