Neighbors of 900 Ocean Avenue Proposed Development Petition Council for Zoning Relief


Lauren Whittemore a Resident of the 900 Ocean Avenue Project Testified Before the City Council Last Nig 

About 15 residents living near the 900 Ocean Avenue proposed development appeared last night before the Portland City Council in opposition to the zoning change that would allow a much more densely populated area than currently exists under its current zoning.

The zone change that the developer wants from an R-3 to an R-6 would permit more dense housing, than this area can support said the area residents.  The area is simply not suited for more dense housing opponents of the R-6 zoning change told the council during the 5:00 pm slot on the council’s agenda reserved for non-agenda items.


Lauren Whittemore, an area condominium owner,  expressed concern that the developers were seeking a zone change that would require a ratio of 1.1 parking spaces for the 280 units.  “This will reduce the amount of concrete that needs to be poured in the vicinity of the existing wetlands, but providing limited parking will also leave many residents to navigate Ocean Avennue’s hapazardly shoveled sidewalks in winter  And where will the residents with more than one vehicle and visitors park,” Whittemore asked.

This zoning change would allow for more dense housing.  But according to Whittemore that only makes sense in neighborhoods that are close to “public transportation, shops and parks.  Putting dense housing on the outskirts of town without adequate access to public transportation and shoppoing does not make sense,” she added.  The only other high denesity development in the area is Ashton Gardens.  “It was specifically intended for an older population that is no longer regularly driving.  Ashton Gardens has limited parking but also provides shuttles to take the residents on their errands,” Whittemore said.

All of the trees that will be destroyed by the city permitting a change in zoning was the concern of Patty Weber, who lives on Osprey Terrace, near the proposed 900 Ocean Avenue project.  Graves Hill is one of two spaces in the Portland area considered to   be “sacred,” Weber said.  Weber told the council that she wants to do everything she can to combat climate change by improving future flooding and keeping the area’s  air quality clean.  “Trees clean our air and the wetlands and vernal pools, provide habitat for wildlife, connect communities and support our health and well-being,” she said.  Weber urged the council not to approve a zone change that does not preserve the Graves Hill geen space permanently in the process.

A third speaker, Laura Sasnowski, who lives on Summer Place, near the proposed 17 acre project at 900 Ocean Avenue, said she understands the “challenges of future housing, but we do hope that ‘value green spaces; and Environmental protected zones” do not get rolled over in the process and disregarded.

Another among the speakers was a man expressing concern about the damage done to property because of the bulldozing done in the area.  Many other speakers expressed similar concerns.

“I empathize with these residents of the Ocean Avenue area,” said Doug Anderson. a Portland resident.  “But we all know that the city of Portland is owned by the real estate industry.  That does not bode well for their zoning concerns.  I hope I’m wrong though.”