Mary Ellen Podmolik | Chicago Tribune

Among people 30 and older, having public transportation stations closer to home and work ranked No. 2 in a survey. (Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune)
Among people 30 and older, having public transportation stations closer to home and work ranked No. 2 in a survey. (Chris Sweda/Chicago Tribune)

If you live in a walkable neighborhood, with easy access to public transportation, goods and services, how much do you need, or want, a car and a place to park it?

It’s a question developers and residents are starting to ponder in some Chicago neighborhoods. Almost a year after the city passed an ordinance aimed at fostering transit-oriented development, projects are underway in a few communities and being talked about in many more.

Under the ordinance, residential developers can cut in half the number of off-street parking spaces they must include in their projects so long as the buildings are within 600 feet of a transit station, or within 1,200 feet of a street with a pedestrian designation. Any fewer number of spaces requires additional permission from the city.

Previously, the ordinance called for a 1-to-1 ratio of parking spots to housing. The ordinance not only cuts a developer’s cost in terms of parking space development, but it enables a developer to devote more square footage to living space or unit count. Read more