Petiton to block sale of Congress Square park rejected

4:43 PM, Sep 13, 2013   |    comments
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PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) - The controversy over the proposed sale of Congress Square Park took another turn.

Portland's city attorney rejected a citizen petition effort to block the sale of the park in the heart of downtown.

City officials say the proposal conflicts with Maine law and city codes. Ohio-based developer Rockbridge Capital wants to buy the square. The company would pay Portland more than 500 thousand dollars to build an event center off the new Westin Hotel, and leave nearly 5 thousand feet for public use.  

The group's proposal would have placed Congress Square Park and more than 30 other city public spaces in a 'land bank' that would have jurisdiction over the public spaces. People who use the park say they are disappointed they won't have a say on it's future.

'I think it's very important to have the public make that decision because the park is a public space if you are going to take away a public space it should be in the hands of the public,' said Isabel Stanton, Portland Resident.

Rob Levin, an attorney representing Friends of Congress Square says the group will look at the possibility of taking legal action against the city. City council is expected to vote on the sale Monday night.

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