City Requests Delay in Planning Board’s Workshop on Cold Storage Warehouse

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Jo Coyne, is Opposed to the Zoning Change Requested by the City of Portland.

Jo Coyne, is Opposed to the Zoning Change Requested by the City of Portland.

By Carol McCracken  (Post # 2,655)

In a surprise move late last week, Bill Needelman, waterfront coordinator in the City’s Economic Development Office requested a delay in a workshop scheduled for Wednesday, December 13th evening before the planning board. The meeting was to consider the city’s application to permit the construction of a 70 ft. high cold storage warehouse on West Commercial Street that currently allows a height of 45. ft.

According to the memorandum to the planning board dated December 9th the delay is to give the city more time “to better document and illustrate design concepts that reflect the exciting potential of Portland’s International Marine Terminal on the working waterfront.”  The same memo requested that the planning board reserve time on its January agenda for the matter.

The delay is “to allow for more time to coordinate with the various stakeholder groups, gather information and conduct further outreach,” wrote Tuck O’Brien, the city’s planning director, in an email.  “This is a very important issue and everyone wants to make sure we do the very best possible to balance all of the interests of the various stakeholder groups,” he added.

On October 25, the planning board told Jedd Steinglass, of Woodard & Curran, representing Americold who plans to build the controversial building, that it needed “justification” to build a 70 ft. high building in that location.  On November 1st, Steinglass told the Economic Development Committee, Chair Councilor David Brennerman, that the 70 ft. high building was necessary for the project to go forward. (Please read both accounts herein.)

Jo Coyne, west end resident, is opposed to the zoning change.  For more information, email her at: jocoyne@gwi.net.

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