The city of Cambridge is looking at ending the days of free parking on streets and in parking lots in the downtown cores of Preston, Galt and Hespeler.

Staff say the move to paid parking in these areas would bring in more than $1-million annually.

But the plan is not being met kindly by local business owners. One of them is Wendy Hood-Morris, the owner and operator of Millpond Records and Books on Queen Street. She says the change could have a bad impact on an already delicate situation, because people will no longer wander around the cores and take their time shopping or enjoying the area.

Hood-Morris says although the proposal has been around since 2009, but not the BIA’s have not had any serious discussions about it with city staff or council.

She says the move away from free parking could cost the city more than what paid parking would bring in. Hood-Morris says if a business closes and the property owner can’t find a new tenant in 90 days, they can apply to the city for a tax rebate.

She also says if the current system, which puts a time limit on how long you can park in a free spot was being enforced properly the city could make more money.

Council will look at the issue again at a future meeting.