BEND, OR-A Deschutes County Judge is preventing the certification of a referendum that would allow the public to vote on a public-private development agreement that the City Council has already approved.

A consortium of developers negotiated with the city earlier this year and came up with a plan wherein the developers would finance $7.7 million of the $13 million in infrastructure costs necessary to open up the city’s west side for development. The City Council approved the development agreement this fall, but opponents began gathering signatures in an attempt to put the project up to a public vote.

Circuit Court Judge Barbara Haslinger’s restraining order temporarily prevents Bend’s city recorder from certifying the petition, which reportedly has well over 2,000 signatures. Haslinger has scheduled a Dec. 14 hearing to decide whether to place an injunction on the petition. The injunction is being sought by the developers, who say they have already been through a public process.

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