Hotel Plan Pulled from Waterfront Development to Satisfy Lobstermen’s Demands


Lobstermen at First Meeting of the Waterfront Working Group on January 3, 2019.

The development team, Fisherman’s Wharf, LLC, has submitted a written request to the Portland Planning Board amending its current application for a conditional rezoning at 184 Commercial Street. The amendment eliminates the hotel use on a wharf portion from the development proposal according to a press release issued by the city spokeswoman today.

The change addresses one of the major concerns expressed by the fishermen at the initial meeting of the Waterfront Working Group (“WWG”) back on January 3, 2019. At that meeting Willis Spears, (see above left in photo) said the possibility of a hotel to be built on a wharf was the catalyst for the petition drive. The drive to collect signatures is going well – more signatures than are required have been collected to date Spears reported. Those verified signatures will place a referendum on the May 2019 municipal ballot that will make changes more reflective of the 1987 waterfront zoning ordinance than it is currently.

David Bateman, a member of the development team, Fisherman’s Wharf Portland, LLC, wrote to the city manager in a letter dated January 10, 2019 that the group wanted to amend its proposed hotel plans because “we do not wish to be a contributing factor to any actions which would create a negative impact on our fellow wharf members…”

The fishermen’s group expects to announce at the conclusion of the second meeting of the WWG next week whether or not it will call the petition drive off. The second meeting is set for January 17, 2019, Room 24, from 3:00 pm – 6:00 pm. That depends largely on whether the group decides the city is serious about their commitment to preserving the working waterfront. The meeting is open to the public, although no public comment will be taken.

City manager Jennings is scheduled to give an update on the Waterfront Working Group at the Economic Development Committee meeting on Tuesday, January 15th at 5;30 pm in Room 209 at city hall.

“We have a big, blue wave behind us,” said Willis Spears, at the end of the first meeting on January 3, 2019,

Please see posts hereon dated January 3, 2019 and December 28, 2018 for more background on the subject.