In a column Friday, Patrick Venne worries that Keep Portland Livable may “succeed in destroying ‘midtown,’” the massive project being proposed for Bayside.

We have no such power. No citizens group ever has. What we of Keep Portland Livable have – and what we wield in every venue we can find – is the power to point out the many, critical, awful ways this proposal with its four identical towers and its two humongous garages contradicts the city rules of development that apply to the place into which it would be jammed.

We describe its primary sidewalks along Somerset Street, which at both ends are only four feet wide – for a project of nearly 800 units! That’s not even wide enough for an entry walk to a single-family home in suburbia!

We describe how the Bayside neighborhood created a vision for itself just over a decade ago that insisted on view corridors between Marginal Way and the downtown that would be blocked by 83-foot- and 92-foot-high walls if this project were mistakenly approved.

We could go on. And we have, in the latest of our more than a dozen filings with the Planning Board, which is meeting for its potentially final hearing on the project at 5 p.m. Tuesday in City Hall.

We’ll be there. The good news is that Portland’s rules for development will keep it livable. We are just speaking up to make sure those rules are observed. If that’s what destroys midtown, we know we deserve better.

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