Moving around Clovis or Fresno, it’s easy to see that almost every business has a parking lot that is too big for even the busiest of days. The reason is due to parking minimums. The city requires that businesses provide a certain amount of spots, which is odd, because cities tend not to demand that businesses provide things to customers. There’s no law, for example, that a movie theater must provide popcorn with every ticket, or that a supermarket must fill every grocery cart with chocolate.
But parking is special, it must be provided, usually in very large quantities. Because this regulation exists, you’d think there would be many hyper-local studies on the use. Nope, all the rules come from an old book with old studies from places far, far away. That can lead to hilarious demands….and disastrous results.