A referendum effort from a citizens’ group seeking to overturn a Livermore City Council agreement with a hotel developer gathered well over the number of signatures required to put the question before voters on a future ballot.

The Alameda County Registrar of Voters validated the signatures collected this summer following the council’s July 29 development agreement with Presidio Companies, of Davis. The Alameda County Registrar took a random sample of 500 signatures from the 10,203 gathered. The Registrar found 137% valid signatures, or 7,244; 5,269 were required.

The signatures were certified on Sept. 20, City Clerk Sarah Bunting said.

The next step is for the City Council to decide whether to withdraw the hotel development agreement or to place the referendum on a future ballot. The matter is set to go to the council at its Oct. 14 meeting.

The citizens' organization, called the Protect the Central Park Vote, launched a referendum effort after the council signed off on a development agreement with Presidio, the developer selected to build a 135-room hotel as part of the city’s downtown Livermore plan.

According to the citizens group, their reasoning for reversing the council’s decision is that the purpose of the development agreement is to obligate the city to build the hotel on the east side of Livermore Avenue, as specified in the city’s downtown plan. The group’s alternative downtown plan provides for a 160-room hotel on the west side of Livermore Avenue.

The citizens' group does not want the development agreement to interfere with their initiative plan that includes the west side hotel before people have a chance to vote on the initiative in November 2020.