I write in response to Tim Wallace’s letter on the 58 Boyd St. plan (Aug. 16). Mr. Wallace raises some excellent points about the needs of a city and denser communities.

However, 58 Boyd and PHA cannot be expected to solve these problems. The city requires a more extensive examination of zoning rules to allow more vibrant communities to flourish, in addition to facilitating the move to denser housing.

As a resident of East Bayside, I have listened to a detailed proposal for the coming development. I would like to assure Mr. Wallace and residents that ample space is being made in the planned 58 Boyd St for community activity.

The proposal features plans for expanding sidewalks, providing bike racks, community space and a mixed income population to help prevent the building from suffering as some other dense housing projects have. I am personally impressed with these designs. I hope PHA will make this presentation available on their website soon, as they have with other plans.

Where Mr. Wallace is correct is that many of Portland’s existing neighborhoods are not designed to support a denser city. 58 Boyd is zoned as R-7, demanding parking be provided. Small shops and retail businesses are largely prohibited, preventing the neighborhood feel that marks many great cities. PHA must build within the existing law. These laws do not value of person-scale neighborhoods.

East Bayside was once a bustling neighborhood of working families. It was filled with businesses and families living closely together. Current zoning rules have made re-creating that livable, walkable neighborhood impossible. The City of Portland needs to renovate its zoning rules as much as any plot of land. The 58 Boyd development helps address the housing shortage. It can’t fix the law.

Mark Noyes

Portland