Proposed bill would add more parking, lower Seattle rents

SEATTLE — A Seattle Council committee is taking up a bill that could provide more parking and lower rent prices.

If passed, it would create a new category of parking called "flexible-use parking."

For instance, owners of a large apartment building could let unused spots in the parking garage be used by the public, expanding access to off-street parking in neighborhoods across the city

The bill would also allow park and ride facilities to be located inside parking garages.

But perhaps one of the biggest changes would be that landlords would be required to separate the cost of parking from the rent, which would benefit renters who may otherwise pay for parking they don't use.

"I'm definitely for unbundling. As a renter who does not own a car, it seems a little odd to me that the cost of my housing should be increased by $300 to $500 for the sake of paying for a space that I don't need,” said renter Meg Wade.

Another proposal in the bill is to require more bicycle parking for buildings being built, a move that is being fought by developers who say it would transform how they currently plan.

The bill is currently in committee and is not yet up for a final vote.