Can there be too much parking in a city? According to advocates in Haltom City, the answer is an emphatic YES.

HALTOM CITY, TX, February 23, 2024 /24-7PressRelease/ — When parking regulations were established decades ago, (more likely 50 years ago), the rule of thumb was to require enough parking for the busiest days of the year (think Black Friday and Christmas). The fact that most of those spaces would sit empty during the rest of the year did not seem to be factored in to the equation.

Today, there is growing recognition across the country that the old parking regulations have actually become obstacles to progress, particularly in declining inner-city areas that are in sore need of redevelopment. Also, everyone understands how much traffic and driving patterns have changed, and how prevalent ride-sharing companies like Uber have become.

This very issue is addressed in a new 8-part video series created by the Make Haltom City Thrive Again (MHCTA) campaign. The series was created to help Haltom City voters make an informed choice in the next election about who is going to lead and who can offer solutions for the issues currently being faced.

In Reforming Parking Requirements, MHCTA founder Ron Sturgeon talks about the need for parking reforms along declining corridors in the south and central areas of the city. He points out that the nearby town of Mansfield has already met with success by adopting form-based codes and reducing parking minimums, and he suggests that viewers “Google parking minimums and redevelopment of cities” to see just how many cities and states in the US have already made a change.

Sturgeon also cites a few instances that clearly illustrate the issue. He knows of a daycare that was turned away because current Haltom City regulations require seven parking spaces and the property in question only has room for six. He mentions a barber shop with a similar story. According to Ron, these small businesses are the exact type of commerce that is needed to help revitalize the older neighborhoods, so everything that can be reasonably done to encourage them should be done. “There have been a number of financial studies that show that development occurs a lot more speedily when you don’t impose those restrictions on the new businesses.”

Ron also talks about the idea of allowing a section of a large parking lot to be redeveloped for a restaurant or other small business. As it stands, that land is not producing any tax revenue for the city, “so rethinking how much parking we need really does work” and should be considered for older areas of the city. If parking reforms don’t work out for some reason, “It’s a whole lot easier to reinstate than it is to lose all the businesses that didn’t come.”

The members of the Haltom United Business Alliance (HUBA) agree that a reduction of parking minimums would be a good first step. Several years ago, HUBA submitted a list of well-researched ideas for consideration by the City Council (including the need for parking reform and a concept plan) but no action has yet been taken. Says Sturgeon, “We need to get started on this if we’re going to make any progress.”

About Haltom City
Haltom City is a diverse, majority working-class city located between Dallas and Fort Worth in Tarrant County, TX. Haltom City is minutes from both the DFW Airport and Downtown Fort Worth with direct access to major highways including I-820 and SH-121. Due to an outdated and restrictive use matrix that discourages new business and deters growth, several areas of Haltom City have seen a decline in small businesses which provided goods and services and were a significant source of jobs, including the once-thriving automotive industry. However, Haltom City can reverse this trend and should prioritize development of inner-city land and vacant buildings, particularly in the major corridors close to the city’s center. The city is financially healthy with a capable manager and staff who would like to see diverse business development occur and need the support of the City Council to make it happen.

About Haltom United Business Alliance
Haltom United Business Alliance (HUBA) wants to give members of Haltom City’s business community an advocate and to keep those businesses informed about issues that affect them. They want to make sure Haltom City is business friendly and nurtures small business growth, including automotive businesses in the industrial districts, and bring more restaurants including breweries and eventually a major grocery store to the city. New businesses and growth in existing businesses will create a stronger tax base which will allow the city to pay its first responders wages that are competitive with surrounding cities while improving Haltom City’s facilities and infrastructure. HUBA believes that the southern and central parts of the city need a revitalization plan, to prevent further degradation in those areas, and wants that to happen before the inner-city experiences increased crime and more blight. As retail and office uses are in decline, it’s more critical than ever to attract new businesses. They believe that such a plan requires a strong relationship and support of the business community. Anyone who owns a business in Haltom City is eligible to join HUBA. Dues are $20 annually or $50 for a lifetime membership, and membership is 100% confidential. To join, contact Joe Palmer at (682) 310-0591 or by email at [email protected]. Visit the group’s Facebook at Haltom United Business Alliance.

About Make Haltom City Thrive Again
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.

For the original version of this press release, please visit here