BAKERSFIELD, Calif. — On Wednesday, Bakersfield City Council voted to adopt the changes to a parking ordinance that will now make it easier on businesses to start up their establishments downtown without parking requirements.
"City Council took action last night on the parking ordinance amendment, it was adopted it will go into affect," City of Bakersfield Planning Director, Kevin Coyle said.
Coyle said parking requirements in Bakersfield will change in just 29 days as a way to create incentive to get business to relocate downtown and redevelop current buildings.
"The current parking requirements for a bank are one space per 300 square feet,"Coyle said. "So that would mean the bank would have to provide 10 parking spaces. If you are converting it to a restaurant, a restaurant requires one space per 75 square feet so you would actually have to provide four times the amount of parking for a restaurant. However, with this ordinance amendment you would not be required to provide any additional parking that would be required for the bank."
Some current local downtown business owners, like 1800 owner Maya Tciboukas, believes it is a positive move.
"If more people could come in and open businesses and not be required to bring in additional costly parking, I think it would help boost the livelihood and everything that's happening downtown," Tciboukas told 23ABC.
Fortunately for Tciboukas, she was able to convert the old business building located on the corner of 18th and Chester in downtown Bakersfield without being hindered by the old ordinance."
We were not required to create additional parking because our footprint of our building didn't allow it and our property line, we would have to demolish part of the building to actually bring in some type parking which wouldn't be possible," Tciboukas said.
Now business developers can avoid the cost of having to add more street parking in order to open their doors, in what Tciboukas said is a predominantly walk-able community atmosphere.
"The city making this ordinance move is really going to support more business, small business, family owned businesses coming down here and making due with what we have here in the city. Especially since downtown is such a walk-able place you don't need to necessarily add more parking," Tciboukas said.