City proposes new parking regulation for neighborhoods around the U

The controversial decision would require a parking space for every two bedrooms in a home.

Minneapolis officials proposed a new parking regulation for the neighborhoods surrounding the University of Minnesota this week that some say could mean the end of affordable housing for students. Current zoning regulations require that one parking space be available for every dwelling unit, but a change proposed at a Monday University District Zoning and Planning Regulatory Review Task Force meeting would require one-half parking space per bedroom. About 50 people, including community leaders, residents and property and business owners, met in Van Cleve ParkâÄôs community center to hear Principal City Planner Haila Maze propose the change, which was followed by a heated discussion. William Wells, executive director of the University Neighborhood Improvement Association, said the recommendation doesnâÄôt solve problems. He said it makes new construction more expensive because it will require underground parking, which would result in higher living costs for students. Wells said the neighborhood association is trying to end affordable housing for students. However, Maze said she doesnâÄôt think the proposal will end affordable housing for an area that is already not affordable. Others at the meeting said they thought the cityâÄôs parking proposal is a great way to develop the livability of the University District area. Marcy-Holmes homeowner Ardes Johnson said she likes the parking recommendation. Johnson also said she thinks the city should sell parking permits. University graduate student Hunjoon Kim , who commutes from St. Paul, said finding the right spot to park is an issue for him. Kim said itâÄôs expensive to use the campus ramps or meters and instead he uses on-street parking. Some in the meeting expressed concern that not a lot of students were present, so their voices were not heard on the issue. But student neighborhood liaison Paul Buchanan said the meeting was open to the public. âÄúWe try to inform the students about the public meetings,âÄù Buchanan said, âÄúbut itâÄôs difficult to try to get the students involved, especially with this nice weather.âÄù