58 Fore Street “Plan” Vote by Planning Board 12/20

Jim Brady, of CPB2LLC, at an Earlier Planning Board Meeting.

Jim Brady, of CPB2LLC, at a City Council Meeting at City Hall.

Jay Norris, President of the MunjoyHill Neighborhood Organization, Has Testified in Opposition to the City's Deal with CPB2LLC

Jay Norris, President of the MunjoyHill Neighborhood Organization, Has Testified in Opposition to the City’s Deal with CPB2LLC: “It Has A Bad Smell.”


The City’s planning board is holding a public hearing and subsequent vote on the proposed Master Development Plan proposed by CPB2LLC tomorrow, Tuesday, December 20th at 7:00 pm at city hall. The proposed Plan is a road map for the redevelopment of the almost 10-acres of Portland Company into a site that will be celebrated for generations to come.

The city’s Planning staff has put together a memorandum for the public hearing that details the process of CPB2LLC to date – over the past four years  The memorandum also explains key points in the Master Development Plan that shows how it is in compliance with the city’s Comprehensive Plan.  Among other benefits the redevelopment of this property will provide more varied housing, more jobs and a huge boost in the tax base for the city.  The staff memorandum may be seen on-line at the city’s wepage.

This despite the fact that a small group of Hill residents continue to resist the benefits that will be derived from this redevelopment of the property.  It’s the same core group of NIMBY’s  that engaged  Hill  residents in an ugly, nasty and unethical war on the establishment of the Maine Narrow Gauge Museum & Railroad in the early 90’s when Phin Sprague, Jr. transported it up from near Cape Cod – known as the popular Edvaville Railroad.

Predictions that the  family friendly mini-railroad would pollute the air and motivate residents to abandon their homes and flee the area were scare tactics that never materialized. Rather there has been a dramatic influx of people into the area – despite the dire warnings of Barbara Vestal and other neighbors. The only people fleeing the Hill are the ones gentrified by the higher cost of living in the area.

Attorneys Barbara Vestal and Ned Chester were against progress then and they are now!  Attorney Peter Murray and Jay Norris, president of the Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Organization, have joined in this latest scare effort  to derail the redevelopment of 58 Fore Street.  (At one time, the MHNO had decided not to take a position on the redevelopment of 58 Fore Street, a/k/a the Portland Company because of the closeness of the survey taken.  Apparently, that position has been reversed.)

Attorneys Barbara Vestal, Ned Chester and Peter Murray have formed a nonprofit, Portlanders for Responsible Development.  The group has asked the planning board for more than three minutes time to give a longer presentation than is ordinarily permitted.  Normally, the planning board permits three (3) minutes for presentations with ten (10) minutes a stretch. The planning board will make a determination tonight on the group’s request for extra time.

If you would like to learn more about this Master Development Plan proposed by CPB2LLC, Jim Brady, executive manager, please come to a 6:00 pm meeting at the nearby Press Hotel – just before the Planning Board meeting. (The restored Press Herald is a fine example of Brady’s commitment to tasteful and successful restoration.) There will be some warm, holiday cheer available as well!  Or, please email info@CPB2.com for more details.

Then the group will proceed to the planning board meeting scheduled for 7:00 pm.