PORTLAND — Occupy Maine met its Tuesday deadline for filing a petition with the city that will allow protestors to remain in Lincoln Park for six months.

The petition, which was hand delivered to City Hall late Tuesday afternoon, touches for the first time on a wide range of issues affecting the encampment and its occupants.

The document map outs where protesters’ tents can be erected in Lincoln Park, articulates the group’s mission, talks about its desire to erect a communal warming teepee, requests that Lincoln Park be designated as a permanent 24-hour free speech zone, and even proposes that the city try to make the park more welcoming by hanging holiday lights from all of the trees in Lincoln Park.

Members of the City Council’s Public Safety Committee will consider Occupy Maine’s application at its Thursday night meeting before making a recommendation to the City Council. A public hearing and final decision regarding the petition will be held next Wednesday, Dec. 7.

“We really appreciate the humanity the city of Portland has shown us, compared to other cities in the world. It makes me proud of our city,” Heather Curtis, a Portland resident and Occupy Maine member, told reporters during a press conference at City Hall.

Nicole Clegg, the city of Portland’s spokeswoman, responded Tuesday night by saying that the city would reserve judgment on Occupy Maine’s request until it has had time to review its proposal.

Occupy Maine started its demonstration in Monument Square but at the request of the city moved to Lincoln Park in early October.

As the weeks wore on, the encampment grew to encompass most of the park between Congress, Pearl, Federal, and Franklin streets.

However, a series of arrests and incidents of violence prompted the city to conduct a walk through inspection on Nov. 17. Several code violations were detected.

“The code violations and increasing demand on the services of the Portland Police Department are stretching the ability and willingness of the city to continue to accomodate and allow your clients’ occupancy in the park,” Portland’s Corporation Counsel Gary C. Wood stated in a Nov. 18 letter to Occupy Maine.

That letter led to a meeting with city officials at which Occupy Maine said it would seek approval from its members to apply for a permit.

Curtis praised the city for its tolerance and its patience with the protestors.

“Other cities are speaking with tear gas and pepper spray,” she said. “Our city is speaking with paper (the permit).”

John Branson, a Portland attorney, helped craft Occupy Maine’s petition.

Branson said the Maine group for the first time in writing says it is “seeking redress of grievances arising from the vast inequality of wealth and income in the United States and throught the world; a throughly corrupt and unjust financial, economic and political system; and the corporate takeover of our public spaces and our once Democratic government at the national, state and local levels.”

Branson said Occupy Maine wants permission from the city to operate a communal warning tent or teepee in which it would burn wood or pellets in a stove.

The group proposes moving all its tents from the side of the park closest to Franklin Street toward Pearl Street.

Branson said the group decided not to limit the number of tents or occupants, only saying it would comply with a fire code provision that requires tents to be at least 10 feet apart.

Occupy Maine is in the processing of developing a social compact that articulates expected standards of behavior for people living at the encampment. Branson said that compact won’t be finalized for at least a few more days.

Staff Writer Dennis Hoey can be contacted at 791-6365 or at: [email protected]