The city’s Director of Planning, Tuck O’Brien, has created a webpage for materials related to an application by the city to the planning board to approve a zone change to allow the construction of a 75 ft. cold storage warehouse on the western waterfront of Portland in a section that permits construction of 40 ft. buildings under city zoning ordinances. The new webpage is: portlandmaine.gov./887Port-Development-Zone-Planning.
Jo Coyne, who is opposed to the height increase is urging people to check the webpage to be certain their submissions are included. If there are omissions, please email Tuck O’Brien at firstname.lastname@example.org. about them.
A December 13th workshop with the planning board was delayed to sometime in January of 2017 and the date is yet TBD. The reason given by the city is to gather more information on the proposal and to conduct more outreach to the community.
Recent decisions of city bodies indicate it is seriously pushing back on plans of developers where residents are rebelling against the loss of views. Despite major concessions by the developer of a building on Sheridan Street on Munjoy Hill, the city council voted for a delay to the project until February 2017. The city’s legal department indicated at a city council meeting that it is seriously handicapped in its ability to defend itself against lawsuits – frivolous – or not. Lawsuits cost money and are time-consuming. Furthermore, the city’s legal department does not have anyone qualified to handle litigation against it.
Dishing out crumbs to those who might otherwise file a frivolous lawsuit is a path worth exploring for the city.