In this June 17, 2022, file photo, Jonathan LaBonte, front right, leads a flotilla of kayaks and canoes down the Androscoggin River between Auburn and Lewiston during a Paddle After Hours event during RiverFest. Credit: Russ Dillingham / Sun Journal via AP

A group of Auburn residents are asking the City Council to repeal a rezoning law that could dramatically increase housing and business construction in the city as well as the size of new buildings.

Citizens for Sensible Growth presented petitions with more than 2,400 signatures to the city clerk on Wednesday. That’s 800 more than required.

Petition organizer John Cleveland said the new law, passed in March, allows for residential and commercial development across 1,600 acres in the Court Street neighborhood but could lead to similar rezoning in other residential areas.

“We’re not opposed to growth or development or additional housing,” Cleveland said. “But we think that there was not enough thought and careful review done with input from the public when they made this zone. And so, hence, we’ve asked it to be repealed so we can start over again and do it in a more softer way.”

If the city clerk finds there are sufficient signatures, the petition will be presented to the council which has 30 days to decide whether to repeal the ordinance or set a date for a city wide referendum by voters.

This article appears through a media partnership with Maine Public.