We residents, businesspeople and landowners of Bayside are challenging the approval of the massive midtown project because we believe the rules that govern development in Portland deserve to be upheld and the community’s own vision brought to fruition.
Our legal appeal should come as no surprise. Every count in the complaint has been raised before the Planning Board and City Council during the past year. We’ve turned to the court as a last resort because the Planning Board and city officials did not give weight to these concerns.
Instead of extending streets, working with local developers and putting small lots up for competitive bid as Bayside neighbors asked, the city set aside alternative proposals in the intervening decade and now favors a development that contradicts the community’s desired approach.
Fairness and law dictate that the voices of the people of Bayside matter. The goals of the “New Vision for Bayside” they crafted form part of Portland’s legally binding Comprehensive Plan.
Our submission to the Superior Court is, therefore, not a narrow technical critique or an emotional reaction to the project; it is a sweeping seven-count complaint with more than 20 specifications of exemptions to established rules and errors of process by the city and its boards.
Besides those listed below, our appellants are Karin Anderson, Beth Humstone, Martin Margulis and Peter Monro.
The fact that we appellants include abutting landowners, who would benefit from any rise in property values if midtown were built, is evidence that we seek not to pick economic winners and losers, but to hold Portland, including ourselves, to established and agreed standards governing the city’s scale, character and development.
Bayside deserves to grow as a vibrant, walkable, mixed-income neighborhood, and we look forward to working with the city and our community to build that far-brighter future.