Parking stalls
to stay small

A proposal to enlarge spaces
is squeezed out by businesses

A City Council committee has parked a proposal to make parking spaces bigger after businesses complained.

City & County of Honolulu

"It would create a new hardship not only on the shopping center but on the merchants in terms of decreasing parking stalls," said Dwight Yoshimura, Ala Moana Center's general manager.

The proposal, heard yesterday by the Council's Zoning Committee, came from Russell Blair, a former state judge and state senator, who asked the city to increase the size of standard parking spaces to 19 feet long and 8 feet, 6 inches wide. Currently, the dimensions are 18 feet long and 8 feet, 3 inches wide.

The committee deferred action after representatives of retail and commercial properties testified against the measure.

Miles Kamimura, president of commercial real estate firm Colliers Monroe Friedlander, said the size of parking stalls affects both future developments and existing commercial spaces.

"It's not just three inches. If you require larger stalls with a defined land mass it will end up that you will be able to build less square footage of office space, retail space, apartments," Kamimura said. "So this will have a definitely negative effect on a developer."

Bobbie Lau, a commercial property manager and president of the 170-member Building Owners and Management Association, said there are more than 20 commercial parking facilities in downtown Honolulu and under the proposal about 20 percent -- or four garages' worth -- of parking would be lost.

"So you've got a lot of tenants, you've got a lot of residents that park in downtown Honolulu that will no longer be able to park there," Lau said.

Committee Chairman Charles Djou said places like Ala Moana would have to conform to the proposed new parking stall dimensions each time they renovate.

Eric Crispin, director of the Department of Planning and Permitting, said the impact of changes to parking spaces would cost businesses millions of dollars.


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