Today I tweeted about a plot of land for sale in Long Island City, right on top of the ditch for the Long Island Railroad East Side Access project. It's around the corner from the Queens Plaza subway station (E, M and R trains) and a couple blocks from the Queensboro Plaza el station (N, Q and 7 trains). It wraps around "Clock Tower Plaza," the very nice 1927 Art Deco Bank of Manhattan building; you can see in this Forgotten NY page that there used to be a very forgettable modern three-story building at that location. And if you made the April 1st bid deadline, that land can be yours for only $9,500,000!
What got Stephen Smith interested (I'm assuming it was him tweeting @MarketUrbanism) was when I mentioned that there is no parking required for this land. Stephen didn't know that most of Long Island City has no parking minimum, and asked about other parking minima and maxima in the area. If Stephen doesn't know about it, a lot of other people probably don't. You can look it up in the Zoning Resolution (PDF), but a lot of people get intimidated by zoning documents, so I figure I'll read it for you and put it all down here for handy reference.
First of all, there is an area (is it the only area in the United States?) where there are no parking minima (except for public housing projects). This includes Manhattan Community Districts 1 through 8, meaning everything south of 110th Street on the West Side and 96th Street on the East Side (except Roosevelt Island, which is its own beast). It also includes the "Long Island City Subject Area," in the core of LIC, essentially everything in Queens west of 29th Street and south of 41st Avenue.
As Stephen asked, there are in fact parking maxima for these areas. In Manhattan south of 60th Street it's one space for 20% of the new dwellings. North of 60th Street it's one space for 35% of new dwellings. In the part of LIC northwest of the Sunnyside Yards it's one per 50%, and in the rest of LIC it's one per dwelling unit.
In practice, in Long Island City the developers always seem to want to build more apartments than they're allowed as of right, so they keep going to the community board for variances, and the community board demands lots of parking. I'm pretty sure that's how all the parking along Fifth Street got built. And of course there was the recent freak-out over the size of parking to be built at the new building on the south side of the plaza.
All things considered, though, I think this zoning has been very good for LIC. I'm surprised we haven't seen similar districts in other high-density, transit-rich areas outside Manhattan, like Downtown Brooklyn, Jamaica or the Bronx Hub, or north of 96th Street like 181st Street in Washington Heights.