‘Concerned Residents’ Launch Campaign Against “Souls” Ill-Conceived Referendum; Tomorrow

58 Fore Street is at the Center of an Effort of Munjoy Hill Activists to Develop the Property.

58 Fore Street is at the Center of an Effort of Munjoy Hill Activists to Prevent its Redevelopment via an Ill-Advised Referendum.


By Carol McCracken  (Post # 2,391)

The public is invited to join other Concerned Residents who are launching a campaign tomorrow, Wednesday August 19th at 10:30 am.  The launch will be at the public plaza on the Bayside Plaza (behind Trader Joe’s), near the corner of Elm and Somerset Streets.  Street parking is available on Somerset Street according to a press release issued today.

The purpose of the launch is to clarify  an ill-advised referendum that threatens to place unreasonable restrictions on property owners if allowed to pass this November 3rd. Several years ago CPB2 LL purchased almost ten acres of private property on the Portland waterfront from Phin Sprague, Jr., of the Portland Company complex. Since that time, the Souls have tried to bring the private property under their control and develop it on their terms; a strategy intended to stop any development on this private property as well as any other private property the Souls target. (This is the same core of NIMBY’s who failed in their effort to prevent the child-friendly mini-railroad from running on the same property – causing an extremely nasty food fight on Munjoy Hill. The leaders in that effort were Nini McManamy and Barbara Vestal – leaders in this attempt as well.

The referendum as written by the “Souls” intends to prevent the redevelopment of 58 Fore Street by CPB2 LLC. by retroactively voiding decisions already made by the Portland City Council that would allow the redevelopment to go forward. Furthermore, the hastily written referendum would have a negative impact on future growth for the City of Portland.  As written, the referendum is confusing and incomplete. Implementing it would be impossible and would only exacerbate, not alleviate,  neighborhood conflicts.  Additionally, the referendum  would put a band of anti-growth activists in control of the city’s future development by superceding the professional and objective staff that the City has already in place.   The city’s staff is governed by what is best for the entire City and not just the self-serving interests of a band of NIMBY’s who live on Munjoy Hill.

The cost of placing the lengthy referendum on the November 3rd ballot to the City of Portland is $10,000.

Once again, the public is encouraged to attend  the launch tomorrow morning and learn why the passage of this referendum would be detrimental to the future growth of the City of Portland at this important juncture in its development.