San Jose residents concerned over proposal that would limit parking at new developments

SAN JOSE, Calif. (KGO) -- Parking is becoming somewhat of a problem for San Jose residents with fewer people taking public transit and more people driving their own cars.

The city of San Jose is proposing a new policy change that would require certain developments to reduce the minimum number of parking spots.

The city calls it a win for the environment, but residents are concerned.

The Village Oaks shopping center is very popular among south San Jose residents.

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There are places to eat, places to shop and even places to live.

The problem is on most busy days, there are no places to park.

"Things are kind of getting tighter and tighter and especially with these new developments coming in, it makes it really difficult to plan out your day because you have to account for parking farther away from the building and just kind of not being able to get in and out quickly," Amy Ward said.

"It's almost like Royal Rumble every day, NASCAR out here," Kellz Fargo said. "You've got to get here at certain times and then when you're here, your friend might call you asking to play basketball or something and you can't because you're going to lose your parking place."

Fargo lives across the street from the shopping center and says his complex and many others have a waitlist just to pay for a spot on property.

Meanwhile a proposed plan in the city would actually require fewer parking spots at new retail and housing developments in the future.

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"What we're really trying to do is enable an urban environment that's more focused on people and buildings instead of having a lot of parking lots and surface parking," City of San Jose Department of Transportation Division Manager of Planning, Policy and Sustainability Ramses Madou said.

The city code calls for a specific number of parking per person at a given development.

The proposed plan would cut that requirement and allow new retail and housing developments to choose how many spots they offer.

Madou says parking also costs a lot of money.

Currently it costs developers $30,000 to $50,000 per parking space, money that he says eventually comes back on the consumer.

Madou says the city hopes this plan will reduce costs and create a less car-dependent society.

Fargo hopes it won't make things worse.

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"I don't know how that's going to work man, it's going to be a problem," Fargo said. "It already is a problem, like I said. I think it's just making it worse. I don't know what we're going to do about that."

"This won't make it so somehow parking disappears," Madou said. "We're really looking at right-sizing the parking. Making sure that the development community along with the city have a robust conversation about what's really needed and reducing that number to the amount needed. Not less and not more."

In addition to parking plans, the change calls for developments to have plans in place to support other forms of transportation.

A long-form study session regarding the plan will be held on Aug. 27.

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