San Marcos City Council members approved a resolution supporting the creation of a River Benefit Parking District with the implementation of paid parking at a July 7 meeting.

The resolution is an introduction to the concept of creating a Parking Benefit District with parking resources near the San Marcos River with consideration for free or low-cost parking for residents.

“Charging out-of-towners to enjoy our parks is long overdue in my opinion,” Diane Phalen, the chair of the San Marcos Parks and Recreation Advisory Board, told City Council members when explaining the resolution.

A percentage of the revenue generated from the net meters would be allocated to address littering and park rule violations by hiring additional park rangers and park maintenance crew members, according to city documents.

The recommendation to adopt such resolution was made by the parks and recreation advisory board based on the Kimley-Horn Parking Implementation Plan—a plan created by the Kimley-Horn consulting firm after being hired by the city to explore downtown parking initiatives and the implementation of on-street parking.

The Kimley-Horn Parking Implementation Plan also details that portion of the net meter revenue could be used for improvements within the parking district and local improvements to promote walking, cycling and transit use.

Creating a Parking Benefit District would improve the availability of on-street parking and promote walking, cycling and transit use, according to the Kimley-Horn Parking Implementation Plan.

Though the resolution of creating a River Benefit Parking District is only an introduction of the concept with no action plan, City Council members directed the parks and recreation advisory board and the San Marcos Parking Advisory Board to meet and present recommendations about a potential plan to City Council in a near future.

The resolution passed with a 6-1 vote, with City Council Member Maxfield Baker opposing.