Book Author Sees Hope in Growing Trend to Reform Parking Minimums

PRESS RELEASE
Published February 12, 2024




Local business alliance continues to urge Haltom City Council to eliminate parking minimums.

HALTOM CITY, TX, February 12, 2024 /24-7PressRelease/ -- For close to three years, the Haltom United Business Alliance (HUBA) has been advocating for policy changes that will spur revitalization of the south and central areas of Haltom City. One idea is to eliminate excessive parking requirements in certain areas, particularly along older corridors such as Denton Highway, Belknap, Carson and NE28th Street.

The idea is not new. A recent article in The New York Times found that "local leaders across the nation are overhauling parking requirements" by scaling back parking minimums. The issue has also been highlighted by The National Law Review, the American Planning Association and in articles by D magazine and CNN just to name a few.

A new book by author Henry Grabar adds to the growing body of work on the subject. In Paved Paradise: How Parking Explains the World, Grabar lays out some historical context and points out the many ways that parking has shaped the manner in which people live all across the country. He also makes it clear that excessive parking requirements have been detrimental to inner city revitalization and that reforming decades-old zoning laws makes it easier to preserve older buildings and build more affordable housing.

According to Grabar, far too many buildings have been demolished as a direct result of obscure parking requirements tied to changing use. For example, a developer might feel that a vacant boarded-up building that was once a small factory could now be renovated to suit retail boutiques, a trendy restaurant, or industrial chic housing. If the property doesn't have enough land to expand parking to meet current (usually excessive) codes for the change in use, renovation cannot occur.

The investor then has two costly options -- trying to buy neighboring property to add parking (often not even an option without tearing something else down) or razing the existing structure and building something that will work with existing space. It's easy to see why developers often avoid inner cities and decide to invest in newer areas of the city or in the suburbs instead. Meanwhile, the boarded-up building sits vacant and unused for years to come.

HUBA founder Ron Sturgeon has been working hard to call attention to the need for change in Haltom City. Sturgeon hears case after case of potential businesses that were told they could not open in an older building because of a lack of parking. A recent case required 7 parking spaces but only had 6, so the business had to find another location for their day care center. He recently launched the Make Haltom City Thrive Again (MHCTA) to help bring awareness to the situation and the unfortunate lack of response by the city council thus far. Whether you live or work in Haltom City, Sturgeon invites you to check out the MHCTA website which is full of practical and well-researched ideas.

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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