Implementation of New Rules for Bike Storage in Residential Buildings?


“Dear PoPville,

I’m interested in know how Condo Boards (especially in older buildings) are addressing the new bike storage rules that DC recently passed?

Full Rules.

Notably missing, is guidance on whether or not condo associations and residential buildings can charge for a bike storage space. Has anyone been on a condo board that has dealt with this?”

16 Comment

  • I believe the rules apply only to buildings that are new or substantially rehabbed (with a building permit dated after the rules went in place).

    • All existing residential buildings with eight (8) or more units shall provide secure bicycle parking spaces for the storage of bicycles in operable condition. Only buildings that don’t have to “demonstrate that providing sufficient bicycle parking spaces required [..] is not physically practical, that undue economic hardship would result from strict compliance with the regulation, or that the nature of the building use is such that bicycle parking spaces would not be used”

      As a HOA president of a 26-unit building we are looking at how to implement these rules. We have a rarely used community room in the basement we may use for this as it’s behind a secured door.

  • It is my impression that they are handing out a lot of exemptions. They did for the building that I own a condo in. They actually sent someone out to the building to confirm. They were there for 5 minutes and left after it was obvious. We had our exemption within 2 weeks after.

    My building has 10 units, so fell under the new law, but we physically had no space. Our building doesn’t even have a laundry room, and no basement. The only common area closet was tiny and had the buildings electrical breakers and cable, phone lines in it. No room for bike storage even if you wanted.

    We don’t have any outdoor parking or common area space to store bikes, and even if we did there is not insignificant cost to buying securable storage lockers.

    Many multifamily buildings on that block are in similar circumstances. I would imagine DC is going to have to issue a lot of exemptions.

    • Is the point of the law for builders to incorporate such plans for a bike room in the initial design? I get issuing exemptions for those buildings already built, but this is something that should be designed by the building/flipper from the get-go when they submit new construction or renovation plans to the DCRA. It should be part of the permitting and inspection process.
      Is DCRA dropping the ball on this?

      • Well, there is a base size requirement. The building has to have atleast 8 units to fall under the rules, whether a tenant or owner asks for it or not.

        Anecdotally, all the row home flips to condos pretty much max out at 4 units anyway, and even the ones that are more greenfield development, 6 or 7 units is pretty standard.

        This rule really seems to apply to the larger condo/apartment buildings being built by actual developer / investors rather than your average local neighborhood “developer”.

  • My building has a bike storage room, but we had the space for it. We actually finished it out about a year before the new condo rules went into effect. We charge a very nominal annual fee for the space, mostly to keep track of who is using it and who isn’t (it was a messy free for all prior to that).

  • A few things. First note that for an existing building this is only triggered by (a) a remodel or (b) demand. If nobody asks for bike parking you have no obligation to put it in. And even if you do have a request you only have to meet demand (up to a max of one spot per three units).
    Further exemptions are for when compliance is either “not physically practical” or causes “undue economic hardship. I wonder how DC is interpreting these. In particular with regards to parking requirements. If a building has minimum required car parking and no bike parking, it seems reasonable to cede a car parking space to bike parking. Car to bike parking conversions are the most practical way of converting parking, I’d like to see DC pushing this on buildings that claim they have no space.

    • That might work in a new build, but is existing condo buildings parking spots more often than not are deeded to particular owners. A Board can’t strip away ownership rights to create bike parking.

    • “undue economic hardship.”
      Developers will cry and moan that pretty much anything is an undue hardship if it eats into profit.

  • I’m curious what other condo buildings do for bike storage and fees? We have a messy bike room with bikes that I’m sure have been left by former owners or tenants. I moved in in the last year and there is no where for me to park my bike with all the dusty bikes that have been sitting there for years. Could you just have a yearly registration system instead of a fee?

    • Our bike locker was the same way, completely filled with crappy bikes that have flat tires and cobwebs all over because people never use them or just moved out and left them. Our condo association scheduled a ‘clean-up and registration’ of all bikes in the locker. The locker is free to use for all owners and tenants, but if you keep a bike in there, come get a sticker and put it on your bike for registration. After a certain date, any bike without a sticker will have the lock cut and the bike donated to somewhere. It freed up a bit of space and at least got everyone to go down there and organize their bike a bit better.

    • I lived in a Co-op and got “volunteered” to manage the bike room. We issued a call to remove any unwanted bikes and offered to take them to a bikes-for-kids program. Then we told everyone they needed to remove the bikes for maintenence, sort of true, the floor and walls got painted but it was really an excuse to clear the bikes. I’ve also heard boards requiring contact info, brand, and model in case something needs to get moved (like in a big time public garage where you give them your keys). Fire code is also a classic catch all that landlords have used.

  • Communal bike storage is like a communal refrigerator. Every once in a while it needs to be completely emptied.

  • Do the rules say anything about proper security? My condo had a bike cage on the lower floor of the garage, meaning you needed to swipe a key fob twice to even get down there, then know the lock combo to get in the cage. I had bikes stolen on two different occasions from people sneaking in past the garage doors and cutting the chain off the bike cage door, then cutting my locks off and walking out of the garage. Only after this happened did they put in a camera and upgrade the lock to a tamper proof setup. And all the while my HOA isn’t responsible for any of it and my insurance company is out thousands of dollars.

  • I read through the rules (a couple of times now) but don’t see anything about fees. How’d I miss that?

    My condo building (is well over 8 unites) and charges $60/year for putting a bike in the rooms. Granted, the rooms are nice – roomy, secure entry with a fob, and motion-activated lighting.

    So essentially my question is – per these new rules, should my condo building not be charging people?

Comments are closed.