“Midtown” Opponents Accuse City’s Planning Process of Incompetence; “At The Least”


By Carol McCracken  (Post # 1,714)

This afternoon opponents of the city’s planning board approval of Phase 1 of the Midtown housing development in Bayside accused the city’s planning office of “at the least” incompetence in its record keeping of planning board meetings.  The accusation from some members of the keepportlandlivable non-profit made this accusation because it claimed the city failed to provide all of the material it requested in preparation of the lawsuit it filed with the Cumberland County Superior Court yesterday.

The short-sighted opponents of the planning board’s approval of the Midtown project stated that the project did not comply with the city’s Comprehensive Plan and furthermore that the planning board did not have the authority to grant the numerous waivers from city standards that it did grant to Federated Co., the Miami-based developer of this former scrapyard on Somerset Street.  Phase 1 of the housing development calls for 225 housing units and a 700-space parking garage with ground-level retail space.  Opponents of Midtown have been very vocal at planning board meetings and its attorney Sandra Guay, Esq. has left an extensive paper trail with the city’s planning office detailing  perceived missteps taken by the city in the process.

Today’s indictment of the city’s process, stated there were 14 public proceedings that included 9 workshops, 4 public hearings and 1 site walk of the property on Somerset Street in Bayside. The opponents’  accuse the city of telling them that for 6 of the proceedings, “there was either no audio recording made, or the recording was erased or destroyed for 6 of them.”  The inference is that the city could be acting in a nefarious manner intended to block the non-profit from collecting information that might be helpful in pursuing its lawsuit against the city of Portland.

The Paradis,Peter Monroe, DENNIS BAILEY, Team of Keep Portland Livable, compared the city’s record keeping to the Nixon Presidential era when voice recordings were mysteriously erased in the Paradis/Monroe/BAILEY overly dramatic news release.  Many believe it was Nixon’s  secretary Rose Mary Woods who erased portions of the tapes to keep from indicting President Nixon during Watergate.  MHN.com wonders what city staff member Paradis believes was responsible for this act on behalf of the City?!  Will the city’s Rose Mary Woods please stand-up?

Because of the snowstorm today, city hall closed early in the day  Mhn.com emailed a request for a response after that 3 pm closure time.