Ocean City bagged hundreds of newly metered parking spaces this week after residents petitioned to repeal the ordinance that called for paid spots.
"There became a big outcry by a lot of people," Mayor Rick Meehan said Sunday. "Nobody really likes parking meters."
The council voted this spring to add them to select spots in the coastal town as officials sought a way to avoid raising property taxes. Once fully installed, those meters were expected to collect about $120,000 a year, largely from tourists.
But after the city's Board of Elections certified on Tuesday that opponents collected more 1,200 residents' signatures to put the issue to a vote, the council voted 5-2 to overturn the ordinance instead, Meehan said.
A final vote on repeal is scheduled for Tuesday.
"If that many people are in opposition to this, whether it would win or not at referendum doesn't matter," Meehan said. "It would have probably cost us $20,000 to hold a special election."
For now, the new kiosks installed for parkers to pay for the spaces have either been covered up or disabled, he said.