Mayor Carlo DeMaria announced late on Tuesday that a new zoning ordinance aimed at reducing the transportation impacts of new development will be presented to the Everett City Council next week.
This ordinance will allow the Administration to bring greater housing affordability to the City of Everett, and institute a cooperative transportation structure between multiple developments.
The Transportation Demand Management ordinance, which has been in development for several months, requires new developments to measure their likely transportation impacts and address them holistically, taking into account not only parking, but transit, cycling and walking.
“Historically, our development process has looked at transportation through the single lens of parking and traffic, however this approach overlooks the fact that half of all trips in Everett are not taken in an automobile and the exorbitant cost of constructing new parking which can increase the cost of a unit of housing by as much as $100,000,” said Mayor DeMaria.
The proposed ordinance will use a points system of debits and credits based on the severity of the impact on the proposed development. Debits will be measured by new vehicle trips, added traffic congestion, or the sheer size of the development itself. Credits will be received for measures that actively reduce vehicle dependency. Examples of these include but are not limited to: improvements to the transit system, providing shuttle service to MBTA stations, sponsorship of bike sharing stations, or reductions in on-site parking.
The proposed ordinance also requires that those seeking to develop pay into a public-private partnership.
This organization is conventionally known as a “Transportation Management Association (TMA)” which will provide services to those seeking to develop and monitor all development for compliance.
The City and the Planning Board have worked with the developers of several recently approved projects to test the ordinance and ensure that it is workable for all parties. For example, the developers of the Market Forge Site agreed to widen a portion of Second Street to accommodate the future Silver Line, provide shuttle service, bike share and prohibit their residents from seeking residential parking stickers. Similarly, The 600 on Broadway was allowed a reduction in overall parking spaces in exchange for dedicated car sharing spaces, a prohibition on residential parking stickers, sponsorship of a bike sharing station, and separating the cost for available parking spaces from the cost of rent. These measures have been proven elsewhere to dramatically reduce the number of vehicle trips generated by new housing development and reduce rental costs while still providing much needed new housing for City residents.
The new Ordinance is expected to be introduced to the City Council during the month of July for their input and approval.