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Portland votes to protect city parks

PORTLAND (WGME) -- Portland residents have voted to protect lands and make it more difficult for the city to sell the land. It was a close vote at 51.49% to 48.51%.

The vote adds 35 open spaces to the city's list of protected lands and make it more difficult to sell them.

The key piece is Congress Square Plaza, a half-acre plaza in downtown Portland. The city wanted to sell most of the plaza to an Ohio-based hotel owner.

Supporters said failure could imperil other open public spaces in a city that has seen increased development interest in recent years. Opponents of the measure said passage would discourage investment in the city.