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Thousands of parking spaces sit empty in Metro Vancouver because of over-building

June 5th, 2012 · 60 Comments

They cost $20,000 to $45,000 apiece. They’re built on some of the most valuable real estate in the continent. What are they? Parking stalls, of course, which a Metro Vancouver study examined in depth. (And I wrote about here.)

Some of my acquaintances have mocked me for writing what they claim is the most boring story ever, but I know that you, dear bulablogsters, will not see it that way. For people without a car who are forced to pay an extra $20,000 or so for a parking spot they don’t want or need, it’s not that boring.

However, as intuitive as it seems to reduce parking spots or at least tailor them to what actual residents want, I found people in the development community somewhat hesitant about any wholesale new set of rules. The biggest obstacle, at this point, is that municipalities say that developers have to nail down the number of parking stalls early, long before pre-sales marketing starts.

If developers were to try to amend that later, not only would it mean having to apply for a variance, but it could constitute a “material change” and possibly allow any buyer to cancel a contract. So a few bugs to work out here before we can all go on that parking-stall diet.

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