Portland officials announced the membership of a new Waterfront Working Group on Friday to address a variety of issues that prompted the City Council to enact a six-month moratorium on non-marine-use development in the Waterfront Central Zone.

The group will consist of lobstermen Willis Spear, Keith Lane and Bill Coppersmith; Charlie Poole, representing Union Wharf; Steve DiMillo, representing Long Wharf and DiMillo’s Restaurant and Marina; Mike Alfiero, representing Holyoke Wharf and Harbor Fish Market; Togue Brawn of Downeast Dayboat Scallops; Becky Rand of Becky’s Diner; and community members Cyrus Hagge and Dory Waxman.

The City Council voted unanimously Dec. 17 to enact the moratorium on non-marine development on the waterfront along Commercial Street so the city can address long-simmering tensions between tourist-oriented commercial developers and fishermen and other marine-oriented interests who say they’re being squeezed out.

The working group is expected to tackle issues such as zoning regulations, traffic problems, berthing challenges, ordinance enforcement, wharf access and possible public investments in the working waterfront, including tax breaks for pier owners who make improvements. Any recommended changes to zoning regulations would be forwarded to the Planning Board, which would provide a recommendation to the council.

City Manager Jon Jennings sponsored the moratorium proposal, which was supported by pier owners and fishermen who had been collecting signatures for a citizen referendum that, if enacted, would have blocked non-marine construction on the city’s piers for five years.

“The city of Portland fully supports, and will always support, the working waterfront,” Jennings said in announcing the working group’s membership. “We believe this process will allow us the time to develop policies that are good for everyone who enjoys Portland’s waterfront.”


The working group will meet at City Hall on the first and third Thursday of each month at 3 p.m. in Room 24. All meetings are open to the public. City staff members from various departments will attend.

Kelley Bouchard can be contacted at 791-6328 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: KelleyBouchard

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