A resident of St. John's says the city has told him to take down an ad on a classifieds website, where he is selling his downtown parking permit.

Finding parking in the downtown area can sometimes be difficult and costly, so people often try to secure permits as cheaply as possible. 

Parked cars on Duckworth Street in St. John's

The City of St. John's is cracking down on non-downtown residents getting access to parking permits. (CBC)

City hall is getting tough with people who don't live in downtown — but who are trying to get parking permits for the area.

Resident Jeremy Gardiner found that out the hard way.

Gardiner is moving out of the province and needs to sell his permit.

He's been trying to sell his parking permits online, and placed an ad on the free classifieds website, Kijiji. He was advertising two permits for $30 each.

But he said the city has contacted him to say it's illegal to transfer or sell the permits — and to take down the ad.

Gardiner said he's frustrated by the situation. 

"You know I paid for it, it's my property," he said.

"I would appreciate the ability to sell it, so that it gets used and I can get a return on my money. Or if that is unacceptable by the city, at least an offer of a refund where you can bring in your unused permit and they will take it back and refund you."

Councillor Bernard Davis

Councillor Bernard Davis says the city has filed a report with the RNC regarding vandalism to a half dozen parking meters in downtown St. John's this week. (CBC)

According to Gardiner, he believes since he paid for the permits, he should be able to do whatever he wants with them.

“It's an issue of rights," he said. 

"If you paid for it, and there's no bylaw stating you can't sell it, then [selling it for] $1 or $100 — makes no difference.”

But the city said the permits are for downtown residents only, because of the lack of available parking spaces.

It is looking at ways of designing the permits, so that they cannot be resold or reproduced.

Councillor Bernard Davis said it becomes a big headache if everyone can access the permits.

"There's a limited amount of space, and we have to ensure the space is adequately utilized by the residents that need it the most," said Davis. 

Gardiner said if he can't sell the permit, the city should at least refund him for the portion that was not used.

According to the City of St. John's website, parking permits for residents of the downtown area cost $12 for the first year, and $6 for subsequent years with the return of the old permit at the time of renewal. Visitor permits for registered downtown residents are also $6 annually.