10/22/2013 09:02 EDT | Updated 12/22/2013 05:12 EST

Developer parking-payoff considered in Vancouver

Vancouver City Council is considering a controversial move that would allow developers to pay the city thousands of dollars instead of building parking spots.

Under current by-laws, developers have to provide parking with any new project, but Century group says this will cost about $80,000 for each of the six parking spaces in its new Gastown development.

Instead, the developers are offering to pay the city $20,000 for each of the parking spots, if they no longer have to build them.

If council approves, the money would go into a special fund to support green projects like wider sidewalks and bike lanes.

Counc. Kerry Jang says it's a win-win situation, because demand for parking is decreasing.

"We get some cash out of it and it really goes toward our greenest city action goals."

But Charles Gauthier, the president of the Downtown Business Association, worries if more and more developers follow suit, there could be a parking shortage.

"It's not like a light switch we can turn on and off and add more instantly. So we have to preserve that inventory very cautiously."