Real Estate News

No more parking mandates at new buildings in Cambridge

The City Council voted to end parking requirements on new developments, a reform that may increase low-cost housing.

Jessica Rinaldi/Globe Staff
A section of Mass Ave in front of Clothware in Cambridge.

The Cambridge City Council voted Monday night to eliminate all minimum parking requirements for new buildings in the city, a major zoning reform that could reduce the number of new off-street parking spaces and — advocates hope — make it easier to build more housing at lower cost.

The Council voted 8-1 to remove the minimums, which have long mandated new developments include a certain number off-street parking spaces, determined by the number of units in the building. Now, those mandates will go away, though builders are free to include parking if they so choose.

“You can build the same amount of parking yesterday that you could today,” said Burhan Azeem, one of the city councilors who spearheaded the ordinance. “It just gives people a lot of flexibility.”


City Councilor Dennis Carlone, who was the sole voice of opposition, said the ordinance doesn’t solve parking maximums — a cap on the highest number of parking spaces a new development can build — or traffic issues, according to Cambridge Day. Carlone could not immediately be reached for comment on Tuesday.

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