Answers about the Parking Waiver system
Here are the questions (Grape) and answers (Noriega):
Grape: The Parking Waiver system in Coconut Grove. It is obsolete, why is it still being used.
Noriega: The property owners in the program are required to pay in for waivers because they cannot provide the parking as required for zoning purposes.
Grape: Where is all the money going and if it is going to build parking garages, after 21 years, where are the parking garages?
Noriega: The Oak Avenue Garage was constructed using a subsidy from the trust fund and the public portion of the garage built under the Sonesta Hotel was also built with BIC support with a restriction on rates. That alone counts for almost 600 parking spaces.
Grape: Why are Grovites paying parking meters and paying this tax, isn't that double dipping?
Noriega: It’s not since they are unrelated. The on-street spaces are regulated as they are all over the City. That is done to create turnover and thus access to more parking for businesses. The waiver is not a tax, it’s a fee in lieu of providing an actual physical parking space as required under the zoning code.
Grape: What is the reasoning behind the system, why was the Parking Waiver tax started in 1992. What is the exact reason?
Noriega: The waiver system was created in order to allow for businesses that could not comply with providing for parking the opportunity to pay into the fund and open the business, while the fund would later be used to add parking inventory to meet the demand. It was a way to grow and improve the economic environment in the Grove without the immediate and overwhelming burden of building the parking all at once. Property owners could attract tenants that for zoning purposes required more parking, but from a practical perspective could not incur the expense to build parking up front. It was used as an economic development tool.
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