Re: The Aug. 11 article on saving Fort Sumner Park:

I am concerned about a disturbing development being proposed at 155 Sheridan.

The developer is planning to build a six-story building on Sheridan Street in an R6 urban residential zone. The issue in play is that the building towers over North Street and blocks the Sumner Park vista of Back Cove. The presentation given by the developer did not sit well with the Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Organization.

The developer said the impact on the park would be OK because they’d be cleaning up an area that has homeless people. That is the same excuse another developer used when trying to justify eliminating Congress Square Park two years ago. Yet the public did save Congress Square Park, and now it is a vibrant park.

The developer suggested a viewing platform. What would be accomplished by going 20 feet up or 30 feet out to Sheridan Street? How unsafe and infeasible would that be? And it defeats the purpose of a natural park.

Will the city’s Land Bank Commission consider contacting the current owner to try to purchase this vacant lot to save Fort Sumner Park vistas and the space on this steep slope of Sheridan?

A possibility is to crowdfund this private lot. New Zealand citizens were successful in saving a private beach from developers, as the BBC recently reported. A crowdfunding campaign would save the last of Sheridan Street’s open space and not block the vistas of Fort Sumner Park.

How can the Portland Planning and Urban Development Department, Planning Board, Land Bank Commission and Parks Commission allow this to happen? When will the local taxpaying citizens have more important input in the development of Portland? The city systems in place are systematically destroying all the reasons why the developers are here in the first place.

Karen Snyder

Portland