PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- A group of residents has filed a lawsuit against the city, asking a judge to allow the group to move forward with an effort to put Congress Square Plaza and other public spaces in a protected land bank.
Friends of Congress Square Park held a news conference at Lincoln park Thursday morning, one of dozens of public parks in Portland the group says they are trying to protect from being sold in the future.
Last week, the City Council agreed to sell two thirds of the Plaza to a Ohio company that is redeveloping the Eastland Park Hotel.
The city also rejected a citizen petition that would put the plaza and 30 other city properties into a "land bank" that would have jurisdiction over the public spaces.
"The pendulum has swung too far in one direction towards business development. We see this ordinance as a much needed counter balance to a city hall that has transgressed prudent business development," said Frank Turek of Friends of Congress Square Park.
Attorneys representing the group have asked for a hearing to be held next week so the group can collect signatures during the November 5th election. A Portland city spokesperson says the city has 21 days to respond to the lawsuit and will be prepared to do so.