A civic group has submitted to the city clerk the signatures of about 2,600 registered voters calling for a referendum on a controversial plan for a hotel complex on the city's major piece of undeveloped land.
"We tried to work within the system," said Greg O'Sullivan, chairman of Citizens for Responsible Development, which organized the petition drive after a series of stormy City Council meetings on the subject. "The referendum was our last alternative."
The City Council voted in April to grant a zoning change for the 11.5-acre site of a former drive-in theater, permitting construction of a hotel, restaurant and retailing complex there.
City Administrator Robert Clute said the city clerk has 30 days to check the validity of the signatures, which represent almost twice the required 10% of the electorate. If the petitions are validated, the City Council has 90 days either to rescind its vote or to put the measure on a ballot.