Friends of Congress Square Park v. City of PortlandAnnotate this Case
After the City of Portland entered into negotiations to sell a portion of Congress Square Park (Park), an urban park in the City’s ownership, Friends of Congress Square Park (Friends) filed a citizens’ initiative to amend the City’s land bank ordinance, which would (1) create a new category of land bank property and designate certain parcels, including the Park, as belonging in that category; and (2) require approval of eight of nine City Council members to dispose of property in the land bank. The City declined to issue petition forms pursuant to the procedure set forth in section 9-36 of the City Code because, inter alia, the proposed amendments did not affect any legislative matters. The City Council subsequently approved the sale of a portion of the Park. On judicial review, the superior court concluded that the petition was a proper subject of a citizens’ initiative and entered a permanent injunction requiring the City to issue the petition forms. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the amendments proposed by Friends were within the scope of the citizens’ initiative power pursuant to section 9-36(a) of the City Code.