The city of Portland has announced two “listening” sessions on the tear-downs a/k/a demolitions for the R-6 Zone on Munjoy Hill. The first of the two meetings is tonight at the East End Community School from 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm. The second session will take place on Saturday, March 24th at 11:00 am – 1:00 pm – also at the East End Community School, North Street on the Hill.
“Back in December, in response to the rapid pace of development and an increase in the rate and number of demolitions in the R-6 zone on Munjoy Hill, the city council approved a six-month moratorium on demolitions also included a 65-day prohibition on applications for new development in the R-6 zone on Munjoy Hill. While the planning staff crafted temporary regulations, it is anticipated that solid regulations will be in place by June 4th,” wrote District 1 City Councilor Belinda Ray recently.
In an effort to be fair at the very last minute in December 2017, the sometimes long-winded Ray proposed that tear-down applications filed before December 4, 2017, were exempt from the moratorium – a disappointment to those who worked to block their demolitions. Those exemptions included two buildings; one vacant at 25 Monument Street and the other, occupied, is located at 24 St. Lawrence Street. Neither building has any historical significance, although opponents tried to make a case for that classification. The buildings are old, but that alone does not make them “historic” according to Kelly Williams, of 24 St. Lawrence Street.
Gentrification has been happening on Munjoy Hill for many years now. It has assisted in making housing more expensive and less available to the public. Up until this moratorium, the city has taken no steps to alleviate the situation. The Housing Committee, chaired by conservative councilor Jill Duson, has ignored the situation when there have been steps the Committee could have taken to alleviate ‘gentrification gone wild’ on Munjoy Hill.
For more background information on the subject, please visit posts herein dated December 15, 2017, December 18, 2017 and January 28, 2016.