CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - Charlottesville City Council is looking to spend half-a-million dollars to set up a new parking department.

Its job would be to make downtown parking more efficient, by finding more parking spots and locations.

Within the next three to four months, the Water Street Parking Lot will close to make way for the Market Plaza development.

So, the city wants to identify alternative parking solutions so that people can easily access the downtown area.

"We want the experience when people come down to the downtown mall, because this is where everyone wants to come, that it’s convenient, easy to do, you can get in, get out,” Charlottesville City Councilor Bob Fenwick said.

Once the city identifies specific locations, it will need to purchase a metered parking system.

City councilors are also thinking of using smart phones to make paying for street parking more convenient.