I wake up at night with an uneasy feeling that Portland is about to do something it will regret for years to come.

The current proposal for development of Bayside, now referred to as midtown, feels just plain wrong for a number of reasons:

The proposed buildings and garages are thoroughly out of proportion and character to almost everything else in the city. They appear to have been designed for Miami Beach, Fla. If I’d wanted to live in Miami, I wouldn’t have chosen to live in Portland, Maine.

There isn’t much that’s inviting about the proposed development. The 14-story buildings are uninspired and uninspiring. There’s no emphasis on trees, open spaces and gardens. There isn’t easy access to other neighborhoods. Transportation will rely on automobiles.

Wind will be a problem for pedestrians, as will ice and snow on the northeast side, where the sun doesn’t shine for most of the winter.

The proposed “market-rate” apartments, of which there are many, will not be affordable for the people who will presumably be employed at the midtown complex.


The city is being asked to grant at least 12 waivers to its city ordinances and standards for the proposed development.

Why have ordinances or standards at all? Do we want Portland to have the reputation as the city to come to with a plan – where most ordinances will be overlooked in favor of development?

I’m in favor of development of Bayside, as described in “A New Vision for Bayside.” I second the proposal made by Peter Monro, landscape architect, that we start by extending the streets that are in Bayside, then develop block by block as clean businesses opt to locate here. This will leave downtown intact and expand growth organically.

Charlotte Fullam




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