The City of Vancouver is set to remove dozens parking spots from Yaletown in a bid to improve access for firefighters who say they don't have enough space to properly respond to calls.

Come March, about half the spaces in a five-block area of a neighbourhood where it's already very challenging to find parking will vanish. That includes all of the diagonal parking spots on Hamilton and Mainland streets.

"We recognized that it would be unpopular and just needed time to figure out if something else would work," said Fire Capt. Jonathan Gormick. "This is a last resort, but it's a life safety issue."

The announcement comes just days after firefighters put out a blaze at a nearby chiropractor's clinic on Mainland near Nelson Street.

While chiropractor Stephanie Bonn says she's thankful for the firefighters' quick response Sunday, she said losing nearby parking spots could damage her business.

"I was quite shocked," Bonn said, adding that she worries the limited parking will impact the number of patients coming into her clinic.

Those who live in the area are worried they won't have anywhere to leave their own vehicles.

"They should have thought of that before," said Ed Bulley, a nearby resident. "Where are we going to park?"

Gormick said firefighters have considered all the options for improving access and says these changes will be final.

On Tuesday, however, Mayor Gregor Robertson expressed some doubt as to whether the move is the best way forward in the long term.

"It's still to be decided how the change happens," he said Tuesday, adding that further community consultation is needed.

Robertson’s statement left Bonn and other members of the local business improvement association hoping for another solution that won't hurt business.