A Hamilton County judge yesterday blocked the city of Cincinnati's plan to lease its parking operations.
The ruling came moments after City Council approved the plan with a clause to prevent voters from overturning it. The judge acted on a lawsuit filed by opponents who say citizens have a right to a referendum on the issue that turns over the city's parking lots and meters to private operators. The city says the multi-million-dollar deal would help fill a gap in the municipal budget. Opponents say the move will raise parking rates and hurt area businesses.