It may soon be more difficult to find a free parking spot on the Halifax peninsula.

Right now, many downtown commuters leave their vehicles on residential streets that allow all-day parking at no charge.

But if Halifax regional council agrees to go ahead with changes, permits will be required on a total of eight streets. The permits would go on sale in February.

They would cost from $20 to $40 a month, except for residents who can park on their own street for $30 per year, Dave McCusker, HRM's manager for strategic transportation planning, said Monday.

"The rationale for doing this is really to have control on the parking on the street so that there is parking availability for the people who live on them," he said.

"A number of streets in high demand areas get saturated with parking and residents just simply can't find a space when they need it."

Right now, William Street, off of Robie Street, is the only street on the peninsula where permit parking is allowed. It costs $60 per month.

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Todd Yeadon can't park near his home on Maynard Street because so many commuters take advantage of the free parking. (CBC)

Very few commuters find that to be much of a deal, so William Street is practically empty on a weekday.

Todd Yeadon lives a few blocks away on Maynard Street, where anyone can park free all day.

"We have a lot of commuters coming in here and not wanting to pay a dime," he said. "So, it ends up as a taxpayer and a homeowner on the street and community, I can't even park near my house, let alone sometimes even on my street."

So to accommodate homeowners like Yeadon and to make some money, the city is going to charge commuters to park on Maynard Street and six other streets on the peninsula including Woodill, Wright and Falkland.

Residents on those selected streets will pay $30 per year.

McCusker said the city thinks this will reduce congestion.

"The other message that this project is trying to put forward is that we would prefer people not to drive and to park downtown, and to use transit and park and ride or car pooling to get to work," he said.

The city is also dropping the price of the permit for non-residents from $60 to between $20 and $40 depending on how close the street is to downtown.

 Bill Josef, who parks his car on Trollope Street, said he'd be happy to pay for this kind of permit, but it doesn't mean there would be a spot waiting for him.  

"The thing I mind is there is no guarantee of a spot. So you could end up paying $40 and still not parking here. That would be a concern," he said.  

Council wanted to have permit parking on 12 streets, but residents on those other streets voted against it.