Pay parking at a popular Port Moody park just got a little bit closer to reality.
On Tuesday, council authorized city staff to move ahead with developing a detailed plan to introduce pay parking in the city, starting at Rocky Point Park.
The city has been looking at introducing pay parking for years, including commissioning a study in 2004, but the issue had been deferred.
But with the Evergreen Line on the way, city staff are recommending the introduction of a pay parking pilot program into areas that will not be as impacted by the line to get the community ready for the concept.
Council asked staff to include in the plan different options for how the revenue would be allocated and possible options for tiered parking, where the first portion of time would be free. But there wasn't complete agreement among council on the resolution, or how to deal with the parking problem at the park.
Coun. Diana Dilworth voted against the recommendation and argued that just dealing with Rocky Point Park was "shortsighted."
She pushed for a resolution to have staff work on a citywide parking strategy, but the motion failed.
"This is the time more than any before that council needs to have the courage to come forward and say 'We need to deal with parking overall in the city and that may include pay parking,'" Dilworth said following the council meeting.
She suggested bringing pay parking just to the park would only push the problem into Moody Centre.
But other councillors preferred to wait on a citywide strategy until after the Evergreen Line is constructed and the full impact of the project on parking is known.
The initial staff report noted pay parking would bring revenues into the city, but the net amount is unknown and dependent upon the rates charged and the cost to run the program.
The report also indicated council can designate the net revenue to certain costs, like putting it back into park improvements.