Haltom United Business Alliance believes Haltom City could reap similar rewards by reforming rules regarding parking minimums

HALTOM CITY, TX, May 23, 2023 /24-7PressRelease/ — When a city includes parking minimums in its zoning laws, it mandates a certain amount of off-street parking for new projects. Eliminating these stringent parking requirements can allow new business startups in situations where it formerly wouldn’t have been allowed, resulting in increased revenue to the city. That increased revenue can also help lower the tax burden for citizens.

Consider the Vermont city of Burlington, which is one of many U.S. small cities to eliminate parking minimums, hoping to encourage small business startups. The New England city’s population is nearly identical to that of Haltom City, making it a valuable test case for reform.

“And just like in Burlington, in Haltom City, removing costly parking minimums will be an important step to bringing tenants back to the many small vacant buildings,” said Joe Palmer, communications director for the Haltom United Business Alliance. “I hope that Haltom City participates in this nationwide trend to reform parking minimums.”

A persistent advocate for local small business owners, HUBA seeks to encourage small business startups especially in the older areas of Haltom City. The group has suggested the city create overlay districts for the hardest-hit areas in south and central Haltom City, recommending the city eliminate parking minimums in those areas.

According to a study by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the cost for structured, onsite parking averages between $2,000 and $20,000 per space. Not only are excessive parking requirements expensive, they reduce the amount of leasable space available in a new building and potentially make rehabbing an older building for a tenant unviable.

To give you an idea of how much parking we have, consider that experts say that in the United States, more space is allocated for parking than for housing.

“Removing the parking minimums in Haltom City can provide many benefits, such as boosting tax revenue,” Palmer said. “It can help reduce the start-up costs for new businesses, encouraging small businesses to lease space in presently vacant buildings.” Palmer said.

“Some of these requirements are simply excessive,” Palmer said, citing the example of one municipality insisting that two parking spaces must be allocated for each seat in a movie theater. “That’s just silly – there’s only, at most, one person in that seat,” he added.

A recent article in The Guardian described how the cities of Buffalo, New York and Fayetteville, Arkansas scaled back parking minimums and saw a surge in activity to transform previously derelict building into shops, restaurants and apartments.

Local businessman and HUBA founder Ron Sturgeon believes that Haltom City needs to remove parking minimums in the older parts of Haltom City. Sturgeon started an initiative called Make Haltom City Thrive Again last year. The initiative advocates for city council members who will work diligently to make Haltom City “the friendliest city in Tarrant County for small businesses.”

According to Sturgeon, creation of an overlay district with relaxed parking minimums for new startups will entice additional small businesses to return to Haltom City’s beleaguered corridors.

About Haltom United Business Alliance
Haltom United Business Alliance (HUBA) is a group of business owners dedicated to making Haltom City the most business-friendly city in Tarrant County. HUBA recognizes the contributions of small business owners to community and their unique role in providing jobs, goods and services, and greater choice to the people of Haltom City. HUBA believes innovative strategies are needed to create a strong business tax base to allow residential tax reductions. All Haltom City business owners are eligible to join HUBA. For more information, contact Joe Palmer at (682) 310-0591 or by email at [email protected] or visit the group’s Facebook page at Haltom United Business Alliance.

About Make Haltom City Thrive Again
The 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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