Haltom City Business Alliance urges City Council to reform parking minimums

HALTOM CITY, TX, October 03, 2023 /24-7PressRelease/ — For more than two years, the Haltom United Business Alliance (HUBA) has been urging Haltom City Council members to adopt programs and policies that will encourage investment and spur revitalization of the declining south and central areas of the city. One of the (many) suggestions made is to eliminate cost-prohibitive (and unnecessary) parking minimum requirements in targeted areas by creating overlay districts, particularly along older corridors such as Belknap, NE 28th Street, Carson and Denton Highway.

As reported in a recent CNN article entitled “This little-known rule shapes parking in America. Cities are reversing it,” parking requirements are now considered to have so many downsides that “a growing number of cities and towns – in both Republican and Democratic-led areas – are now reforming their parking rules. The effort to end parking requirements has gained federal support as well.”

Time and again, business owners and developers have found that parking mandates make certain projects cost-prohibitive. Affordable housing advocates claim that parking requirements stifle development and reduce supply, especially when spaces that could be used for apartments are instead used to comply with obsolete parking mandates. Additionally, the associated costs must be recouped, either through higher rental rates or higher sales prices.

Environmental and public transportation advocates generally agree on the negative impact of excessive parking mandates. They not only add to traffic congestion and increase carbon emissions, but they generally make cities less walkable with their miles and miles of asphalt. The result of these parking mandates is that in far too many towns and cities across the country, it’s exactly as the 70’s song said – “They paved paradise to put up a parking lot.”

Ron Sturgeon, one of HUBA’s founding members, says, “I personally have received a number of calls from business prospects, especially on Belknap, that were turned away because of not enough parking, including a day care and a barber shop.” He adds, ” I believe we turn aaway at least one prospect weekly, mostly due to the city’s unneccesary rules including parking minimums.” That would be 50 per year, which could make a sizable dent in the high vacancy rate in the declining corridors.

If you don’t know much about the issue, the CNN article is a great place to start. Claiming that “America is jammed with parking spots,” the article summarizes the history of parking mandates, addresses some of the negative consequences that such policies have produced and highlights changes being implemented in cities and towns across the country. It is well worth a read.

About Make Haltom City Thrive Again
The Make Haltom City Thrive Again website offers information and resources about its purpose and goals. For more on Sturgeon’s personal ideas and background, check out his book Keeping the Lights on Downtown in America’s Small Cities and watch the videos on his Facebook page. Ron is also the founder of the Haltom United Business Alliance (HUBA) which represents existing business interests in Haltom City and promotes growth of diverse businesses as well. HUBA is not a political action committee and does not endorse candidates. If/when Ron endorses candidates, he will do so on his own with the Make Haltom City Thrive Again organization.

About Haltom City
Haltom City is a diverse, majority working-class city located between Dallas and Fort Worth in Tarrant County, TX. Haltom City is minutes from both the DFW Airport and Downtown Fort Worth with direct access to major highways including I-820 and SH-121. Due to an outdated and restrictive use matrix that discourages new business and deters growth, several areas of Haltom City have seen a decline in small businesses which provided goods and services and were a significant source of jobs, including the once-thriving automotive industry. However, Haltom City can reverse this trend and should prioritize development of inner-city land and vacant buildings, particularly in the major corridors close to the city’s center. The city is financially healthy with a capable manager and staff who would like to see diverse business development occur and need the support of the City Council to make it happen.

About Haltom United Business Alliance
Haltom United Business Alliance (HUBA) is a group of business owners dedicated to representing existing business interests in Haltom City and promoting the growth of diverse businesses as well. Innovative strategies are needed to create a strong tax base and enhance quality of life for residents, city employees, and business owners. All Haltom City business owners are eligible to join HUBA. For more information, contact Joe Palmer at (682) 310-0591 or by email at HUBAgrp@gmail.com or visit the group’s Facebook page at Haltom United Business Alliance.

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