Cincinnati parking

Tana Weingartner / WVXU

Opponents of Cincinnati's parking lease deal turned in more than 19,000 petition signatures Thursday. That means it's likely the the issue will be on the November ballot. They need 8,522 valid signatures.

Former council woman Amy Murray thanked those who signed and circulated petitions.

"The people have the right to ask for this, to have a referendum," says Murray. "And it's something that people feel so passionate about. It will have a huge impact on our business districts."

An appeals court is scheduled to hear oral arguments on Cincinnati's parking lease May 6th. 

The First District Court of Appeals released a filing Wednesday with the schedule for the case.

The city will have to have submit its brief by April 19th and lawyers representing the residents who oppose the parking plan will have to respond by April 29th. 

The court also said those briefs could be no more than 20 pages long.  That split the difference between the two sides.  The city had suggested a 15 page limit and the opposing lawyers wanted 25. 

Sarah Ramsey

Cincinnati's Mayor and the five Council Members who voted for the controversial parking lease proposal are asking residents to get the facts before signing petitions to put the measure on the ballot.  

Cincinnati is asking the Ohio First District Court of Appeals to hear oral arguments concerning the city's parking lease plan on either April 18th or 22nd. 

The city would like a decision by May 1st. 

The city is proposing to file its brief with the court next Monday and for the opposing lawyers to provide their response by April 15th. 

A lawyer for the other side said in a filing they can agree with that time schedule although there is a disagreement about how long the briefs should be.  The city wants a 15 page limit, opposing attorneys are asking for 25 pages.

A Hamilton County judge is granting a permanent injunction stopping Cincinnati from moving ahead with its parking lease plan until voters have a chance to decide the issue. 

Judge Robert Winkler writes the essential issue in the case is whether the city's emergency clause in the lease ordinance precludes a referendum.  He concludes it does not.

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