Removing Parking Minimums: The Journey Begins


By Steven Bergin, CAPP

In April 2023, The City of Richmond repealed parking minimums – as you know, this means developers will no longer have to provide a set amount of off-street parking for future housing, retail, and restaurant projects. This was a recommendation of Richmond 300, the city’s master plan.

I work in the city’s parking division, and you might assume that our division would have been involved in the process, but it was our City Council and City Planning Department that led the charge.

As the On-Street Parking Manager, I have done some reading and listened to the pros and cons presented during the city’s public outreach process, keeping in mind my areas of concern – downtown on-street parking and residential restricted neighborhood districts.

Much of our downtown area is already densely developed and includes off-street parking options. In my opinion, I don’t think it will increase pressure in our capital district. The City Center Innovation District is being proposed now to replace the old Richmond Coliseum to be developed for mixed use – office, residential and retail. This may be our first chance to see how the removal of parking minimums affect a development plan. On-street parking in that area now is sparse and it is closely located to our Bus Rapid Transit (BRT). Over the years, we have lost on-street parking to new development projects that provided off-street spaces, and I see that trend continuing with the elimination of parking minimums.

We have had concern raised within our residential neighborhoods and are planning now to meet with Council liaisons and neighborhood groups to get in front of any extra pressures placed on neighborhoods and how best to manage those. Our neighborhood districts are very flexible – each one is allowed to structure their own permit program to suit their needs. One size would not fit all, and we feel this will help them address future issues.

A question for other localities – has anyone else been through this process with residential neighborhoods? Do you have any ideas or thoughts to share as we start this journey?

I’ll be watching how this change unfolds in the city, and how it effects my department. The next day after the minimums were repealed, I read about a wine shop project just down the road from me, which had stalled because of lack of parking, is now hoping to open soon. Cheers!

Steven Bergin, CAPP, is the Parking Program Administrator for the City of Richmond, Virginia. He can be reached at