Parking in downtown Biddeford. Credit: CBS 13

Parking in downtown Biddeford will soon cost money, and that has some locals upset.

Monday night’s meeting had city officials defending their decision to pass parking changes. Changing the free parking, to a form of metered parking, and during that meeting, many residents voiced their concerns.

On Dec. 1, some downtown parking will change to kiosk paid parking in Biddeford.

According to a city spokeswoman, under Biddeford’s new parking plan, all on-street parking is remaining completely free of charge. Paid permit parking of some kind would be added to eight of the city’s downtown parking lots.

Jason Litalien is suing the city over their plan, because he says it violates a citizen referendum that declared Biddeford doesn’t want paid parking.

“Honestly, most cities have paid parking, but the thing is, we passed a referendum, telling the city that we don’t want paid parking downtown,” Litalien said.

City officials say their growing city needs to match parking needs.

“As it continues to be either fixed up or continue to be converted into useable space or different space than it is now, it increases the demand for the additional vehicles,” Biddeford City Manager Jim Bennett said.

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Some business owners say there are problems with the timed parking spaces.

City officials say they also have a problem with residents using free spots overnight instead of leaving them for customers.

City staff say another reason to generate parking revenue is a future parking garage downtown, but many in attendance say they don’t even like that plan, which is still in development.