park here sign on a street corner
Surface parking lots at the corner of Second Avenue and Charlotte Street are one option for visitors looking for a place to drop their car while heading to businesses or events near the Cass Corridor. (BridgeDetroit photo by Quinn Banks)

Residents in three areas between Midtown and downtown will soon be able to pay for on-street parking permits meant to secure spaces that are gobbled up by visitors of popular restaurants and events. 

Municipal Parking Director Keith Hutchings said the city’s relatively new residential parking permit program helps protect parking access for residents living near high-traffic areas. City Council approved the creation of Detroit’s first residential parking zone near Cass Park in July and is scheduled to weigh in on other permit areas in Brush Park and stretches of Second Avenue and Selden Street in Midtown this fall. 

“The quality of life can be really, really damaged when traffic and parking become burdensome,” Hutchings said in an interview. “This becomes more critical when we have parking minimums that are being reduced, so that means there are fewer opportunities for people to park. It also protects the commercial activity occurring by having metered zones that can make sure residents get taken care of but also allows us to support the needs of commercial corridors in those mixed-use neighborhoods and make them great to live in.” 

parking sign
A residential parking permit approved near the Masonic Temple aims to prevent residents from having to use costly surface lots around Cass Park. (BridgeDetroit photo by Quinn Banks)

An ordinance adopted in 2019 allows for the creation of residential parking zones requested by residents through a petition or at the discretion of the city. 

“This is a beneficial ordinance to help the whole city and it’s surgical, so we’re not doing things that could negatively impact neighborhoods,” Hutchings said. 


Council unanimously approved a resolution on July 11 to create paid residential parking zones on Second Avenue between Temple and Ledyard Streets, another section of Second Avenue between Temple and Charlotte Streets and a portion of Charlotte Street at the intersection with Second Avenue. 

Residents who live in those areas can apply for an annual permit that allows them to park for free and have exclusive access to on-street parking after 5 p.m. Detroiters must prove residency to obtain a permit, which is good for one year. Residents can also obtain passes for guests and caregivers. 

“Because of Little Caesars Arena events and Masonic Temple events, the parking pressures are pretty intense and it makes it almost impossible for residents to find parking,” Hutchings said.

Residents can start applying for the permits sometime in August, Hutchings said. Residents who have access to off-street parking can register two vehicles under the same permit, while those who only have on-street parking can register three vehicles.

Applicants will pay a one-time $35 administrative fee and $60 annual fee for the residential permit. Low-income residents and seniors have a $30 discount.

A public hearing was held Thursday on the creation of another residential parking zone on Selden Street between Fourth Street and Cass Community Social Services, and Second Avenue between Brianard and Selden streets. No residents called in to oppose the plan. 

Hutchings said the Selden Street area has experienced significant development in the last decade with the addition of businesses near apartment complexes. 

“You have a great deal of restaurant and commercial activity coming to a neighborhood that once was fairly bare,” Hutchings said. 

Two other zones are under consideration for the Brush Park neighborhood. City Council is expected to hold public hearings on the proposals after it returns from a summer recess in September. 

Members of the Brush Park Community Development Corporation, a nonprofit advisory organization, say a permit system is needed to improve the quality of life in the neighborhood. But the proposal has faced intense scrutiny from two fraternity organizations with houses on the north side of the neighborhood. Members of the historic African-American fraternities have protested the creation of resident-only parking zones in public meetings since last November, arguing they won’t have enough spaces for their members. 

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