NEWPORT NEWS, Va. (WAVY) – Parking requirements could potentially change in Newport News.

The Newport News Department of Planning is asking Newport News residents for help in assessing how the city handles off-street parking. The guidelines state that any new developments must provide a set number of off-street parking spots, enough to cover demand for parking during peak times. Parking minimums are dictated by the zoning ordinance.

Excessive parking requirements have been a topic of discussion for planners across the nation for the past two decades. Many planners believe that the requirements discourage alternative modes of transportation, reduce density and increase the cost of development.

There is also criticism from planners that parking requirements create an uninviting man-made environment, which can degrade the natural landscape.

The Newport News Department of Planning is evaluating changes to the zoning ordinance regarding off-street parking requirements. Some areas of Newport News have already implemented some of these changes, like Hilton Village and City Center. For these areas, on-street parking is available and off-street parking is not required for office or commercial use.

Removing parking minimums does not mean that businesses will not provide off-street parking, just that the city is no longer required to provide parking.

Everyone that lives, works or even visits Newport News is encouraged to complete a seven-question online survey to help guide the city into the next steps. The survey will close on Sunday Dec. 3 at 11:59 p.m. and can be found on the Newport News Virginia government website.