It was with some concern that I read a Portland Planning Board notice saying that my neighborhood was being considered for rezoning from an R-6 Residential to an R-7 Residential Zone.

I wondered if this was related to real estate agents being so interested in our neighborhood, so I attended a neighborhood meeting March 31.

I left that meeting absolutely alarmed by the direction the city planning division is taking.

My primary concern is that the planning division has decided to no longer rezone for individual projects, but has decided instead to rezone entire neighborhoods.

The areas under consideration right now for this broad rezoning are East Bayside, Libbytown, Parkside and a small area of the West End.

I think this broad rezoning of low- to median-income areas in the city will lend itself to hasty and harmful decisions.

My second concern is about the permissive R-7 Residential regulations.

One hundred percent of a lot can be covered by building and parking in an R-7 zone. This type of broad rezoning will drastically alter the very landscape of our neighborhoods.

East Bayside is not a neighborhood of four-story, 20-plus-unit apartment buildings with a mere 435 square feet of living area per unit. This type of rezoning will make the areas of the city that are already densely populated even more densely populated.

I can’t imagine all of the traffic snarls and accidents that will occur with a large influx of new residents and cars.

Residents of Portland, this broad rezoning could be coming to your neighborhood next!

This new way of doing business by our Portland planning division could be the way they “pave paradise and put up a parking lot.”

Let’s keep our city green and healthy. A big blanket of R-7 is not the way to do that!

Ellen Bailey

Portland