Regarding your April 27 editorial on the Williston West Church (Our View, “West End church project should get city’s backing”): The West End is an area for which there is a high demand for residential properties.

In the former Williston meeting house, a developer has proposed three residential units, but where a logical fourth unit would be located, the developer proposes establishing a significant office use for 14 “full-time equivalents” (which could be many more people) and demands a zone change.

The neighborhood supports the re-use of the former church and supports bringing residents to the neighborhood who will join and share in the city’s urban life. They see a missed opportunity for the city in losing a creative residential re-use, simply because the developer persists in rejecting such a re-use in favor of his commercial office use.

Maine Medical Center, a local institution, with the encouragement of the neighborhood and the city, has just completed, as part of its long-term plans, the release of nine buildings formerly being used by it commercially in the West End. It was claimed that these buildings would not find a receptive market because of the perceived difficulty of re-use. All are now converted to residences.

The MMC administrators must wonder why they gave up commercial uses of these buildings for the betterment of the city, when within one year a nonresident developer expects to be granted a zoning change to establish a commercial use in the same neighborhood.

Why are Maine Medical Center’s actions deemed good for the city as a whole, but in your editorial’s view, a similar residential re-use of Williston somehow is bad for the city as a whole? Your editorial should support enhancing neighborhoods, not promoting a short-term benefit for a single developer that potentially destabilizes a neighborhood.

U. Charles Remmel II is a resident of Portland.