College dorms might not have to have a parking space for every bedroom if Columbia officials go forward with proposed changes to the city’s zoning rules.
Rather than requiring one space per bedroom, the city could decide to require only a half-space. And for fraternity and sorority houses, the requirement would be reduced to .75 from one per bedroom.
A separate proposed change would allow dorms to count off-site parking toward their required spaces as long as there is an adequate transit system that meets certain criteria.
The intent of the changes, city zoning staff says, is to “minimize centralized traffic congestion,” limit additional parking garages and surface lots in the core of downtown and encourage use of alternative modes of transportation.
With the University of South Carolina campus continually expanding its footprint in the city along with the size of its student body, downtown parking spaces are increasingly hard to come by. Residents of nearby neighborhoods have complained about students’ cars encroaching on residential streets and parking inappropriately.
The Columbia Planning Commission is considering the proposed zoning changes Monday at 5:15 p.m. in third-floor council chambers at 1737 Main St.