The City Council has taken the first step in repealing downtown parking requirements for nonresidential uses. The amendment will eliminate the requirement that businesses provide off-street parking spaces or make a payment in lieu of providing the spaces. The council approved, by a vote of 8 to 1, a first reading of an ordinance amendment that would eliminate the requirements. To be finalized, the amendment requires three favorable votes of the council. The move came after the Zoning Board of Adjustment approved variances that will allow Surf Sushi, Martingale Wharf, and Portsmouth Book Bar to avoid the parking requirements.