US Representative calls for parking reforms in American cities.
HALTOM CITY, TX, November 17, 2023 /24-7PressRelease/ — Over the past several years, advocates in Haltom City have been asking for Planning and Zoning reforms to help spur revitalization in the declining south and central areas of the city. One such reform would be to change decades-old parking regulations which generally require an excessive number of parking spaces be added when an older building is being renovated for a new use.
The concept of parking reform for inner-city areas has seen increased attention across the country. In 2016, the non-profit organization Strong Towns asked cities to “take the pledge” to end minimum parking standards. In the mid to late 1900s, parking standards were often based on government agencies trying to ensure that every single car would have the maximum amount of convenience every single day of the year. According to Strong Towns, the government essentially ignored the fact that such policies would cause the paving over of “tens of thousands of greenfields and old growth forests” and that they “intentionally made land financially inefficient by precluding more income-producing opportunities with largely unused asphalt.”
Recently, US Congressman Jake Auchincloss spoke about parking and its relation to congestion and city growth during a debate on the house floor. “Cities across the country have been struggling with car-centric planning and transportation models for decades.” Citing Strong Towns as a resource, he pointed out that parking reforms not only ease air pollution, traffic, and emissions, but also allow cities to factor in the space that cars are taking in areas where space is limited. He later posted a video of his comments, reiterating that cities should adopt parking reforms “to reflect the all-in cost of cars.”
According to Joe Palmer, Communications Director for the Haltom United Business Alliance (HUBA), “Haltom City has many areas where the number of parking spaces far exceeds the need. The City Council should adopt overlay districts, particularly along the older corridors in the south and central areas of the city. We recommended these changes to Haltom City over 18 months ago in writing. American cities that have adopted parking reform have quickly seen a surge in redevelopment activity.”
Adds HUBA founder Ron Sturgeon, “Creation of an overlay district where parking minimums are scaled back or eliminated would be a big help in getting the older buildings in South and Central Haltom City occupied again.”
About Haltom City
Haltom City is a diverse, majority working-class city located between Dallas and Fort Worth in Tarrant County, TX. Haltom City is minutes from both the DFW Airport and Downtown Fort Worth with direct access to major highways including I-820 and SH-121. Due to an outdated and restrictive use matrix that discourages new business and deters growth, several areas of Haltom City have seen a decline in small businesses which provided goods and services and were a significant source of jobs, including the once-thriving automotive industry. However, Haltom City can reverse this trend and should prioritize development of inner-city land and vacant buildings, particularly in the major corridors close to the city’s center. The city is financially healthy with a capable manager and staff who would like to see diverse business development occur and need the support of the City Council to make it happen.
About Haltom United Business Alliance
Haltom United Business Alliance (HUBA) wants to give members of Haltom City’s business community an advocate and to keep those businesses informed about issues that affect them. They want to make sure Haltom City is business friendly and nurtures small business growth, including automotive businesses in the industrial districts, and bring more restaurants including breweries and eventually a major grocery store to the city. New businesses and growth in existing businesses will create a stronger tax base which will allow the city to pay its first responders wages that are competitive with surrounding cities while improving Haltom City’s facilities and infrastructure. HUBA believes that the southern and central parts of the city need a revitalization plan, to prevent further degradation in those areas, and wants that to happen before the inner-city experiences increased crime and more blight. As retail and office uses are in decline, it’s more critical than ever to attract new businesses. They believe that such a plan requires a strong relationship and support of the business community. Anyone who owns a business in Haltom City is eligible to join HUBA. Dues are $20 annually or $50 for a lifetime membership, and membership is 100% confidential. To join, contact Joe Palmer at (682) 310-0591 or by email at HUBAgrp@gmail.com. Visit the group’s Facebook at Haltom United Business Alliance.
About Make Haltom City Thrive Again
Make Haltom City Thrive Again is a movement to return prosperity to the older parts of South and Central Haltom City by luring the small businesses that have left over the past decades back to Haltom City. A vibrant business community not only allows for greater employment and choice of goods and services, but also can ease the tax burden on residents. The movement is led by local entrepreneur and business owner Ron Sturgeon. For more on Sturgeon’s ideas and background, check out his book, Keeping the Lights on Downtown in America’s Small Cities and watch the videos on his Facebook page. Ron is also the founder of the Haltom United Business Alliance (HUBA) which represents existing business interests in Haltom City and promotes growth of diverse businesses. HUBA is not a political action committee and does not endorse candidates. If/when Ron endorses candidates, he will do so on his own via the Make Haltom City Thrive Again organization.
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