WESTBROOK — The City Council will hold a public hearing this month on a citizen-initiated petition to repeal a zoning change for land on Stroudwater Street, but has not yet committed to putting the question out to voters.
The council voted unanimously Monday to hold the hearing April 28.
Last week the council split the vote, 3-3, with President Brendan Rielly absent, not to hold the hearing on the petition because the city’s attorney said the zoning change might not be legal.
The land in question — 60 acres between Stroudwater Street and Westbrook Arterial, once slated for a shopping mall — was rezoned in February for commercial and residential uses and sold to Portland developer J.B. Brown & Sons.
Former landowner Jason Snyder, who lost the land in foreclosure, initiated a petition to overturn the zoning change and revert to the contract zone developed for the massive shopping center he proposed.
Snyder collected enough signatures to get the question on the city ballot in June, but Vin Veroneau, president of J.B. Brown, and the city’s attorney, Natalie Burns, have said they don’t believe it’s legal to impose a contract zone on an unwilling landowner.
Burns, however, advised the council to let the voters decide the question then allow a court to decide the legality, if necessary.
City Councilor Mike Foley, who previously voted against holding the public hearing, asked Monday that the council reconsider it.
“I think it’s important that the public have an opportunity to heave a public hearing,” he said.