With Portland City Council poised to pass new parking requirements for apartments in transit corridors this week, Commissioner Steve Novick sees an opening to revive a longtime enthusiasm: parking permits on the east side.

Novick mentioned at the end of an April 4 public hearing that he's spoken with officials at the Portland Bureau of Transportation about creating parking permits in the Richmond neighborhood, where homeowners have howled about the lack of on-site parking in new Southeast Division Street apartment buildings.

"PBOT has said they could accommodate a mini parking permit district," Novick said. "I really hope that option will be considered."

Novick's interest in permits—and parking meters—dates back to his run for office last spring, when he raised the idea of solving PBOT's money crunch by installing meters across the east side.

"I think you have to look at putting meters on Hawthorne, and [Northwest] 23rd," he said. "I don't know if it would make sense on Alberta, but I think you'd want to look at that."

Such ideas are habitually resisted by business owners and homeowners, but with City Council ready to restrict developers with new rules, it has leverage to push for what density advocates call a more lasting solution.

At least one coalition, a group called Portland Neighbors for Sustainable Development, has sent City Council a letter asking for exactly that.

"Zoning code changes are blunt instruments: they're inflexible, permanent, and they affect the entire city including areas without parking congestion," says the letter, sent to the council in March. "Management solutions such as parking meters and permit districts can be tested and applied to targeted areas as needed and are ultimately far more effective."