Seattle mulls removing parking mandate from new construction

SEATTLE -- The city of Seattle may not require people building homes or businesses to include parking, and some fear it's going to make Seattle's parking nightmares even worse.

The city insists this is not an evil plot to get you out of your car and on to a bus by by trying to eliminate parking. But what it would do is allow developers to building business and housing without parking.

"The proposal doesn't prevent people from offering parking," said Seattle City Planner Mike Podowski. "It allows the property owner and the architects to tailor the parking to fit the needs of the tenants."

Dave Cutler with the city's planning commission says "Maybe some businesses don't need parking, perhaps they should not be required to provide it, these are some of the questions the commission will be dealing with as we look at the legislation."

The city says look at Pioneer Square. A huge project is being built in what used to be the north parking lot of CenturyLink Field. The city required no parking but the developer is putting in 800 units anyway.

The city says that will probably happen everywhere.

"We have found, because we don't require parking in many areas that the developers provide anywhere from 65 to 70 percent of the tenants with parking," Podowski said.

That's the city's sweet talk. Some say parking is bad, and the city could make it worse:

"Anyone who has driven around this city, it's terrible," said driver Michael Hassul.

The parking proposal is a long way from law. The first public hearing will be next Wednesday at city hall. They expect a crowd.