A lawsuit has been filed to halt a $50 million redevelopment of the St. Petersburg Pier and force a citywide referendum on the issue, according to MyFoxTampaBay.com.
The lawsuit is being filed on behalf of the "15,652 Petitioners" who asked for the vote through VoteonthePier.com. Attorney Kathleen Ford also is named as a plaintiff.
The City Council voted this month to reject the petition for the citywide vote, with city attorneys telling members they were within their rights to deny it. At issue is a plan to demolish the 1970s inverted pyramid building and develop a modern-looking structure dubbed "The Lens."
Organizers of VoteonthePier.com had insisted that the Council allow voters to decide the future of the city Pier.
According to Fox 13 News, Ford is arguing that the Pier is granted special protections through the city charter, because it is waterfront property. Ford is arguing that the city was required to hold a referendum, even if no petition had been filed.
"If they want to permanently dispose of what we have, it's our contention that they need referendum approval," Ford told Fox 13 News.
Ford also is requesting that the city be ordered to halt plans to tear down the Pier until the legal issues raised by the lawsuit can be answered.