That said, the planning board was really stuck on this concept during deliberation when a student housing project near the university was proposed (one of the first projects under the overlay district) that did not meet our minimum parking requirement for this residential use had it been outside of the overlay district. Nearby residents were hammering the board and staff at the hearing for the amount of parking being provided not being sufficient in their view. In the end the project was passed because the code specified no parking required within the overlay district with staff using this as the response to the board and the public; the board's hands were tied. There's also the added bonus in testimony from staff that a parking study is currently being done to look into these issues (it might be smoother if the parking study were completed first, then use the information to justify the overlay district, but I suppose opinions vary.)
Just yesterday we were looking at a concept plan that expands an existing apartment complex (adding more units into existing parking spaces). It became a circular conversation for staff around the table:
"The project's expansion would have required a total of 97 spaces. Only 63 were provided."
"But isn't it in the overlay district and no parking spaces are required?"
"Yes, but the project's expansion would have required a total of 97 spaces. Only 63 were provided."