Parking is not a community benefit, it is an attractant to the pollution, noise, and violence of cars. When we force developers to make new concessions in exchange for eliminating arbitrary and expensive parking requirements, we reinforce the narrative that more parking is somehow good, but it is not good.
If cities required new apartments to have toilets made gold, it would surely cut into profit margins. Eliminating mandatory gold toilet requirements would not be a windfall for developer profits, it would be eliminating a stupid and arbitrary requirement.
On-site parking is a luxury amenity that has significant external costs to the community. The developer who builds more parking than is required is making a generational commitment to more greenhouse gases, more traffic fatalities, longer commutes, and fewer, more expensive, homes.
The developer who builds more parking should be the one paying transit subsidies to tenants so they might drive the cars stored downstairs less often. The developer who builds more parking should be the one who provides more on-site affordable housing. Building sites with more on-site parking should have more trees and green space to counteract some of the pollution they support.
Cities should absolutely explore policies to require integrated affordable housing, transportation demand management, and greener building features. But policy that allows a developer to build car parking in lieu of affordable homes, or more trees, or transit subsidies is a backward policy.
We need to flip the script on the common narrative. New parking supply is bad for livability and that must be pointed out as often as possible.