The Coastal Packet: Portland grabs farmland for gentrification

Tuesday, July 25

Portland grabs farmland for gentrification

Press Herald -The Portland City Council voted 5-4 Monday night to rezone 45 acres of open space on outer Westbrook Street to allow a developer to build nearly 100 single-family homes, while preserving 25 acres of recreational open space for public use.

The project would trigger the city’s inclusionary zoning ordinance, which would set aside about eight or nine units of workforce housing, which would be affordable to people making up to 120 percent of the area median income. In this case, a four bedroom house would sell for over $300,000, but that would be affordable to a family with an income of nearly $100,000, planning staff said.

“We must leverage our moment to max our impact on the affordable housing crisis,” Strimling said. “On this one, I just don’t feel like we got there.”

Coastal Packet - A much wiser approach for Portland would be to redefine the relationship between Portland and other Maine cities and surrounding rural areas. Maine has the opportunity to create a new, more environmentally conscious relationship between urban and rural, but this is a lousy way to start. 

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