SOUTH PORTLAND — The current public works site on O’Neil Street would be sold and redeveloped into a mix of housing and open space under broad guidelines given by city councilors Monday evening.

Councilors responded to an update from a reuse committee that is considering a wide variety of redevelopment options for the 6-acre site off Cottage Road, which will be vacated when a new public services facility is completed later this year off outer Highland Avenue.

The 10-member committee held a site walk and brainstorming session last week that drew about 60 neighbors and other city residents. Ideas gathered by the committee ranged from converting the entire parcel into a public park to redeveloping the site into housing with open space, facilitator Laura Moorehead told councilors.

Councilor Linda Cohen noted that when voters decided in 2013 to finance the new public services facility, city officials said the current public works site would be sold to offset the $15.7 million cost.

“There’s no question that I don’t want to keep this property,” Cohen said. “I think we have a possibility up there of doing something unique.”

Cohen said she expects the city to seek proposals and sell the site to a developer who agrees to fulfill criteria that will be recommended by the reuse committee and voted on by the council.

The city has yet to have the property appraised. The land is valued at $788,300 by the city assessor. It’s expected to cost about $250,000 to clear and clean up the site, which contains several large garages, a salt shed, a fueling station and other buildings.

Reflecting on the ideas gathered by the reuse committee, Cohen said she’s open to including a combination of townhouses and single-family homes that are environmentally friendly but affordable. She also favors including shared open space such as walking paths and community gardens, and connecting O’Neil Street to Pitt Street with traffic-calming measures.

Councilor Susan Henderson also favors a combination of housing and open space, with the possibility of including some rental units, she said. The project should promote social interaction and walkable connections to the surrounding neighborhoods, she said, including the Mill Creek shopping area.

Henderson said she especially likes the idea of “universal” housing and communities that are built for young and old alike, noting that a sidewalk or doorway that’s accessible to a person in a wheelchair is accessible to a parent with a stroller.

Councilor Maxine Beecher said she also would favor an age-friendly residential development with open space, because it would mesh with the mostly small, single-family homes in the surrounding neighborhood, which is bounded by Cottage Road and Sawyer and Walnut streets.

“I’m not really for multi-family housing in there,” Beecher said. “I don’t think it fits.”

Councilors Brad Fox, Claude Morgan and Eben Rose were absent from Monday’s workshop.

Mayor Patti Smith, who represents the council on the reuse committee, said she agreed with the other councilors present that the reuse committee should develop three to four recommendations to submit to the council in October.

Moorehead, the facilitator, said the committee will seek professional guidance from community members knowledgeable about housing, traffic and other development issues to inform its recommendations.

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