Traders and residents are worried that a controlled parking zone (CPZ) could be introduced in Bohemia Road.
Labour councillors sent a survey round to local people asking their views after receiving a number of requests for a CPZ in one of St Leonards busiest streets and a gateway to Hastings.
The council emphasised that the consultation is just a chance for local people and traders to air their views.
Ward councillor, Trevor Webb said: “We are just asking people’s opinion. We want to make sure we know what people’s views are.”
The proposed scheme would cost residents between £25 and £75 a year, while traders would pay for a daily permit likely to cost £4 for five hours or £6 for 10 hours, a charge that could make it even more difficult to run a commercially viable business. A petition has started against the proposed scheme, set up by Mrs Vivian Berry from Cake Box Bakery on Bohemia Road.
She said: “The scheme would probably close my business because people won’t stop. They don’t want a 50p surcharge added to the cost of their sandwich or cake.
“On our petition the postcodes showed that 90% of our customers are passing trade.”
Mrs Wong from the Silver River Chinese Restaurant said: “If we have to charge our customers to stop it will adversely affect our business.”
The consultation started because some people have said it is difficult to find a parking space.
But residents believe there is no need for restrictions.
Leonard Chappell, from Clarence Road, near Bohemia Road said: “As far as I can see, there are no parking problems in the area.
“I think it is a money-making scheme for the council.”
Cllr Webb added: “Early indications suggest there is not a groundswell of opinion for it. We don’t want any scheme that would be the deathknell for trading in the area.
“I think there has been a misreading of the situation.
“They have jumped the gun with the petition because if people don’t want it, it won’t happen.”