A Bendigo council planner has said parking requirements under the planning scheme could hold back development in the city's centre if applied rigorously.
The City of Greater Bendigo has made a draft recommendation to remove planning scheme requirements for developments in the city centre to provide a minimum number of car parks, as part of a review of the city's CBD's parking.
COGB senior strategic planner Philip DeAraugo said parking minimums were too high, discouraging development by adding cost.
"If we apply those rigorously we would end up with way more car parking than would ever be needed," he said.
"That just spreads everything out, adds cost to development, which means development doesn't happen."
If enacted, the change would leave the private sector to determine what the right number of car parks is for their building to work.
It would apply to commercial and residential development.
There was no risk Bendigo would be left short of parking, as the market would sort out supply and demand, Mr DeAraugo said.
The worst case scenario was that another multi-story car park was required in the city centre, he said.
"If we do end up in a situation where parking is in demand then it makes sense that either council or the private sector step in and build another car park," he said.
"In Bendigo our development sector is still going to provide car parking to residents ... because Bendigo residents still have cars, but the planning controls at the moment doesn't provide enough flexibility."
The change would give the city no way to reject a building proposal on the grounds of parking supply, but the developer would still need to justify that their project was good for Bendigo, Mr DeAraugo said.
Bendigo's city centre has 11,000 car parking spaces and two multi-story car parks.
The City of Greater Bendigo will investigate whether it should build another multi-story car park in the Market Street Precinct, between St Andrews Avenue and Mundy Street, as part of the review.
Mr DeAraugo said there were downsides to building more parking in the city centre.
He said too much parking could discourage people to drive from one site to next, which was bad for business. It was better for traders to have people walking past as many shops as possible.
"It's more important to have a city centre ... that people want to go to," Mr DeAraugo said.
"You generally don't go to a place because there's cheap and ample car parking, you go there because there's stuff to do when you get there."
Mr DeAraugo said people could have their say on parking at the forum on May 27.
The forum is on from 6.30pm to 8.30pm at the Engine Room, 58 View Street, Bendigo.
People can email firstname.lastname@example.org to register their attendance.
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