PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) - A piece of land in Southwest Portland owned by the water bureau is being sold to developers, and nearby residents are upset and claim they didn't even know the land was for sale.
They'd like to preserve it as a green space.
The land near Woods Memorial Park is home to the Freeman Water Tank. It sits at the end of a quiet street and it covers about three-quarters of an acre.
People who live in the area value the wildlife that call the park home.
"It's very emotional because this is an opportunity to connect with Woods Memorial Park," said Debra Lee, who's lived near there for 20 years.
Signs have been posted trying to stop the sale of the Freeman Water Tank site. A year ago, Renaissance Homes put $1,000 down on the land and entered into a contract with the city to buy it.
Neighbor Jeremy Solomon and others said the Portland Water Bureau failed to give meaningful public notice when the land was for sale.
"As a citizen, as a resident, as a ratepayer, I'm outraged on a number of levels," he told KOIN 6 News. "The city says there was public notice, and there may have been, but it escaped this public."
Steve Martin said he's walked by the park every day for 11 years and said he never saw one sign.
Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish responded to the complaints and said the water bureau followed "all relevant policies" associated with disposing of the property, including disclosure.
"I do understand the concern that there ought to be broader notice," Fish said. He said the land was sold with the ratepayers best interest in mind.
"We've been asked for every document that has anything to do with this thing and we're pulling those together and we'll produce them," he said.
"If they were really looking after the ratepayers best interest, wouldn't you put it out on the market?" asked neighbor Sarah Lyons. "Have a lot of people bid (and) see who's going to give you the best price."
Neighbors also complained about the low price tag of $140,000. They said better notice would have brought more money.
"If there's someone out ther that feels like they had a million dollar offer that they were prevented from making, I would certainly like to know that," Fish said.
All future surplus property sales that he has control over will be given broader notice, Fish said.
Read more in The Portland Tribune, a media partner with KOIN 6 News.
PGE crews are still working to repair a failed underground cable that caused a fire and power outage on Sunday, leaving a large portion of downtown Portland -- including City Hall -- in the dark.
District officials said the school would only close early if classrooms got too chilly.
Deputies say the suspect continued to fire a rifle until deputies arrived.
Viewer photos from around the state during Oregon's record-setting cold snap, December 9, 2013