I’m a 40-year Munjoy Hill resident and property owner writing about the rash of tear-downs and ill-considered development allowed on the Hill over the last few years. One need only drive down Lafayette Street and other portions of the Hill to clearly see the odd and negative impact of outsized and incompatible development.

The power of the city to regulate derives from government’s mandate to protect the public good. There is no discernible public good served by allowing developers to profit hundreds of thousands of dollars by erecting hideous condo buildings on sites formerly occupied by local families.

While the city’s professed interest in affordable housing is laudable, none of the “big box” speculative development has provided affordable housing. Quite the opposite. In fact, most “affordable” rental housing now remaining on the Hill is provided by small resident landlords, most of whom invest in their buildings on a regular basis.

Speculation is not investment. The City Council and the Planning Board should enact and enforce regulation that protects Munjoy Hill from this kind of predatory development, allows for compatible redevelopment and respects the historic identity of place here – before it is gone.

Erna Koch


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