AUSTIN (KXAN) — Austin City Council could strip mandatory parking minimums from its overarching zoning requirements this year. Council Member Zohaib Qadri intends to put forward a resolution next month that would change the city’s land development code (LDC).

Right now, the city mandates how many parking spots you’re required to have on a property. Transit and affordable housing advocates have for years asked the city to strip those requirements from the LDC to promote different forms of transit and allow for developers and small businesses to utilize land differently.

“The science shows that arbitrary parking mandates encourage climate-killing car-dependence, induce suburban sprawl, drive up the cost of housing, and actively discourage new housing development,” Qadri said.

The resolution, if passed, would get the process started for the elimination of that requirement city-wide. It would also direct the city manager to look at ways to require developments to provide accessible parking spaces if it plans to build no on-site parking.

It’s something the city has already done. Since 2013, the downtown area has been excluded from parking minimums.

“We have to make sure people separate the fact that this isn’t going to eliminate parking spaces, it’s simply going to eliminate the city mandate” said Curtis Rogers, a member of the Urban Transportation Commission. He noted the proposed change doesn’t limit the number of parking spaces developers can build.

The change also wouldn’t make an impact right away, but would adjust the zoning process for future developments.

“Let me be clear: This would not erase a single existing parking space in Austin, nor would it lead to an explosion in parking-free developments. In fact, in 2013, parking mandates were removed in our Central Business District and virtually every new development since then has included ample parking,” Qadri said.

It’s something Rogers said could help small business owners and incentivize developers who are required to build parking, which typically costs at least $10,000 a parking space, according to the resolution.

“Eliminating parking requirements gives property owners the freedom to provide parking based on market demand rather than arbitrary peak-based minimums,” the draft proposal states.