Re: “Like a foraging moose, Portland grows, slows and grows again” (Oct. 7):

Greg Kesich seems to try for a balanced approach to development in Portland, but it’s pretty clear he’s not on the side of the doubters.

One of the problems we’re facing is all-or-none polarization. There may be some out-and-out spoilers opposed to all development (“Delay is a way to kill a project”). And there may be some who favor development of any kind at any cost (“If things don’t go our way, we’ll pull out”).

But those extreme positions are often just the way folks on one side of the issue characterize the folks on the other side. I suspect there’s a middle ground most people would agree to: We don’t want a moribund, decaying city, but we also don’t want ugly or massive structures that would destroy the small-city ambiance that makes Portland a true gem.

Kesich concludes: “A city is (a) growing, living thing that changes all the time. We should be wise enough not to forget that.” Amen.

But is this “living thing” going to be an ungainly beast or a handsome natural specimen? Are we going to feed it junk food or something nutritious and more carefully chosen? Developers, neighbors, the Planning Board and the City Council would do well to ponder these questions and work toward a balanced diet for Portland.

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