Parking - or the lack of it - at Rocky Point Park during busy summer days has been a continually vexing problem for Port Moody politicians.
But a possible solution to the summer parking jam just took a step closer to becoming reality.
Port Moody city council has given the green light for city staff to come up with a public consultation plan for the introduction of pay parking at the popular park.
The politicians voted on the recommendation after discussing a staff report that included four options for pay parking.
The information in the report, which was noted to be in the conceptual stage at Tuesday's council meeting, was provided by the Impark corporation.
The report identified seven lots in and around the park that currently provide free parking, totalling 236 stalls and another 38 stalls reserved for boat launch parking only.
The options include installing pay parking in all the lots at a $2-per-hour rate, or $6 a day, while offering annual discount passes to residents for $30.
According to the report, that option could net the city $202,000 in annual revenues.
The other three options include pay parking in some but not all of the seven lots, with annual revenues ranging from $63,000 to $170,000.
The report also recommended the city use a contractor, suggesting the option would be the easiest to implement.
Parts of the report were both panned and praised by city council.
Coun. Zoe Royer said she's leery about pay parking, and fired a number of questions at city staff regarding the report, including seeking the differences in revenue using a contractor and doing the program in-house.
"I'm worried it's a business killer," she said of the pay parking idea, also suggesting the use of Impark made it appear the city was favouring a private company.
City staff, however, indicated, if the plan is approved, the city would still need to go through the typical request-for-proposals process.
Coun. Rosemary Small was similarly critical of the report and the idea.
She argued that Port Moody residents are already paying in their taxes, adding it wouldn't be fair to charge them in the same way as visitors to the city.
"I don't think we have a true picture of what this means to the city in the way of work and the way of costs," Small said, adding she believes pay parking would kill business.
"I'm not really happy with it all."
But others around the table saw the report in a more positive light.
Coun. Diana Dilworth said she's been advocating for a citywide parking strategy for years.
"I think this is a really good step," she said, though she argued against changing the boat-launch parking scheme in place now. Dilworth also said she isn't ready to throw out the strategy because it might have an implication on business.
Mayor Mike Clay called the report the best he's seen on the issue in years, suggesting it gives a clear picture of the options.
However, he added some issues need to be ironed out, calling the $6 charge a bad idea.
The next step is for city staff to come back with a report noting all the suggestions from council and a detailed plan for public consultation.