University Gateway Apartments is facing a unique problem in Los Angeles: too many parking spaces.The Los Angeles City Planning Commission unanimously approved University Gateway Apartments’ proposed plan to alter the parking arrangements for its residents and to rezone their on-site parking spaces at a public hearing on Feb. 12.Parking statistics that were gathered by University Gateway management and presented to commissioners stated there are 89 surplus spaces for the on-site residential parking, 163 surplus spaces for the on-site non-residential parking, and 410 surplus spaces of the 440 reserved spaces at the University Parking Center on 35th Street and Grand Avenue, an off-site location located a quarter mile away from the complex.University Gateway’s on-site parking structure is eight floors, with four for commercial use and four for residents. The statistics showed that parking is not in high demand for University Gateway residents at a time when other forms of transportation are more popular at USC.The complex proposed rezoning 354 on-site parking spaces into shared parking spaces to be used by both commercial visitors and residents. This rezoning would accommodate current and future increases in residential and commercial parking demand.Currently, University Gateway offers a total of 1,215 parking spaces for residential and commercial use. Seven hundred seventy-five spaces are located on-site — 327 commercial space, 27 residential guest spaces, 421 residential spaces — and 440 spaces are located at the off-site UPC. Reserved residential parking at the UPC is offered at $38 a month, and parking at University Gateway’s on-site parking structure is offered at $175 a month.Despite the less expensive price of UPC parking, University Gateway representatives made it clear that the parking spaces were not being used to their full capacity.“All parking spaces for the project are operating with surplus parking spaces,” said Katherine Casey, the main representative for University Gateway at the hearing.University Gateway’s management proposed eliminating the parking spaces for residents at UPC. Commissioner Renee Dake Wilson spoke in favor of approving University Gateway’s proposal.“Los Angeles has 6.4 parking spaces for every car,” Wilson said. “Let’s free up that unused land for cars that do need to use this.”University Gateway representatives and community members attended the hearing at Los Angeles City Hall to voice their opinions to commissioners.Operated and managed by Wilson University Gateway, LLC, University Gateway began leasing 421 residential units to USC students in fall 2010. The multi-story complex is located at the intersection of Jefferson and Figueroa, a block away from the Jefferson/USC Metro station and across the street from the Galen Center.Besides student housing, University Gateway also leases out 74,516 square feet of street-side retail space to several food and beverage outlets such as Yogurtland, Subway and convenience stores like Fresh & Easy Neighborhood Market. These stores have boosted the foot traffic around the Gateway complex, attracting both the USC and University Park community.Casey emphasized that the apartments are marked by their proximity to local transportation.“The project site is located in a transit-rich area … Metro operates several bus lines in the area,” she said.With her PowerPoint presentation on the University Gateway project and its parking statistics, Casey made her point to commissioners that several of the residential parking spaces were not being utilized completely because of the convenience of University Gateway’s location and its proximity to alternative forms of transportation such as Metro, Uber, and Zipcar that don’t cost as much money as a car.“Most students at USC utilize other methods of transportation, with biking being the most popular,” Casey said.Lisa Patricio, another supporter of the rezoning who spoke at hearing, also agreed by informing commissioners that the various methods of public transportation available around the apartments lessens the need for cars.“It seems the transit is working at getting people outside their cars,” Patricio said.Both Patricio and Casey pointed out to commissioners that bikes are the most popular form of transportation for USC students.Considering the popularity of bicycle use, Commissioner Marta Segura unofficially advised University Gateway representatives to add more bicycle parking spaces both inside and outside of the Gateway complex to accommodate the increased traffic in that particular area of University Park.All commissioners found no reason to reject University Gateway’s plan and only very minor complaints were heard in the public hearing. The commissioners of the City Planning Commission then unanimously approved the parking restructuring plan.