Some Montrose-area businesses will have more flexibility in the way they provide parking for their employees and customers as the result of a plan approved Wednesday by Houston City Council that relaxes some city parking requirements.
The council approved an application for a so-called “special parking area” submitted last year by the Montrose Management District. Officials with the district said relaxed parking rules would make it easier to attract new businesses and maximize available parking.
“We think this is the beginning of doing some great things as it relates to parking,” said Tony Allender, the district’s director of special projects.
The special parking area, he said, allows the flexibility to address “complexities or unique features of a particular area.”
“We have within the Montrose area a pretty substantial parking deficit in our commercial areas,” Allender said.
Residents in the area, however, have raised concerns about how the new rules would affect overflow parking near their homes. Business owners outside the proposed district have spoken out, too, claiming they would suffer by not being included.
Allender said the district has created a broader plan to deal with parking issues that don’t necessarily require city approval. That includes expanding the district’s security services to keep streets safer and exploring the addition of parking garages and enhancements to intersections and pedestrian areas.
Within the special area, new businesses will be allowed to park up to 80 percent of cars belonging to their customers and employees, instead of the usual 25 percent, up to 800 feet away in off-site parking or 1,000 feet if valet service is offered.
As part of an update to the city’s off-street parking code, businesses will be able to provide off-site parking within 500 feet of their properties rather than 250 feet.
The district collects assessments from commercial property owners to make improvements and promote economic development. It proposed the special parking area last year and in January, the Houston Planning Commission voted to recommend that City Council approve the group’s application.
The special parking area will be re-evaluated in two years.