Portland’s Economic Development Committee will hold a public hearing Tuesday about selling a parking lot on the eastern waterfront and several acres in West Bayside.

The City Council committee will take input on selling a 2.5-acre parking lot on Thames Street and 4 acres of land in West Bayside that has been the location of the city’s Public Works Department, which is being relocated to Canco Road.

Typically, the committee would hold a public hearing in response to a specific sale offer and redevelopment plan. But City Councilor David Brenerman said the panel is taking public comment upfront, partially because of criticism by Mayor Ethan Strimling and some residents over a previous sale of city-owned land on Thames Street.

“In this case we’re trying to be more proactive,” Brenerman said in an interview this month.

Last November, the city sold 12,000 square feet of land on Thames Street to CPB2, the group redeveloping the former Portland Co. complex. The land was needed to secure access to the private development site, as well as provide better access to a publicly owned waterfront lot that is being redesigned into a park. Strimling criticized the sale over the purchase price, and several residents criticized the council for selling the land without notice, even though the proposed sale had been the subject of eight meetings of the council subcommittee.

The city had originally planned to market the West Bayside land for the highest and best use, but Brenerman said the panel would like to hear whether the city should require that housing be built on that site. That land is due to be put on the market next month, according to the city.

The public hearing begins at 5:30 p.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall.

Randy Billings can be contacted at:

[email protected]