Photo parking enforcement is coming soon to Calgary residential permit parking zones.

City council approved the motion Tuesday, which calls for residents to register their vehicles' licence plates so that neighbourhoods can be scanned by the Calgary Parking Authority's (CPA) camera-equipped vehicles.

The city says detailed instructions on the program, including setting up online accounts and managing visitor permits, will be provided to residents as their zones' renewal date approaches. 

Privacy advocates previously raised concerns about the information the CPA would collect in residential areas.

Mike Derbyshire, the head of the parking authority, said the only information they collect is on licence plates for the purpose of determining violations, not on people.

"It's important for Calgarians to remember that this is a parking enforcement operation. We're bound by provincial law, we're bound by FOIP, we're bound by our City of Calgary code of ethics and we are bound by our personal integrity as to how we deal with the information we collect," he said.

"We are permitted to do nothing else with the information that we collect and nor do we have any legal reason to do anything else with the information that we collect." 

Photo enforcement starts Oct. 1

The changes will start to come into effect for five residential parking zones Aug. 1. Enforcement will start Oct. 1.

Additional zones will be added to the new photo enforcement system as their permit zones come up for renewal. The process is expected to take 14 months to completely switch over.

The CPA issued 36,073 parking tags in 2016. The authority estimates that number will increase by 30 per cent once all the residential permit zones switch to photo enforcement.

According to the CPA website, the cost to implement the new residential system is around $400,000. The CPA currently has six camera-equipped vehicles, but intends to buy five more in the coming months to help cover the expanded enforcement areas.

With files from Scott Dippel