58 Fore Street Rezoning Update
A big contention in the rezoning of 58 Fore Street, whether building heights should be measured from flood plain or average grade, has just been circumvented as an issue through a bureaucratic process.
On Monday, April 6th, City Council was scheduled to have a public hearing on rezoning the nine acre site on the eastern waterfront. City Council postponed the agenda item until June 1st.
The Council took this action because, according to City staff, certification of the comprehensive plan, a City document that governs zoning, expired at the end of February of this year.
The State of Maine asks municipalities to certify their comprehensive plans every 12 years to ensure consistency with the state’s Growth Management Act, and the City recently claimed that its 2005 plan was not officially re-certified.
The contention over where to measure building heights comes down to the comprehensive plan.
Soul of Portland, a group fighting the developers to ensure that building heights do not block water views, contends that the comprehensive plan calls for building heights to be measured from two feet above flood plain.
City staff and developers claim that the comprehensive plan calls for measuring heights from average grade.
Until the comprehensive is re-certified, it is a moot point.
In an email to their supporters informing them of the hearing postponement, Soul of Portland stated, “This is legitimate, not a ‘dirty trick.'”