My wife and I walk on the Eastern Promenade Trail along the waterfront almost every evening, always enjoying the views of our beautiful harbor and the islands beyond. In the past few months, however, a portion of that view has been blocked by a new fence alongside the Fore Points Marina. Maybe Red Claws players would be able to see over the top of it, but most average-sized adults can’t.

I know this is temporary, and overall the marina has done a nice job refurbishing a dumpy old eyesore. Furthermore, the new white slat fence is certainly more attractive than the rusty old chain link that used to be there. But does it really need to be so high and opaque? I doubt this ever dawned on the marina’s planners – they were focused on creating a comfortable gathering place for their members, which is totally their right. I have no problem with that.

What does concern me, however, is how this slipped past the city boards that approve building plans. It seems to me a telling sign that apparently nobody thought to ask about the impact of that fence on harbor vistas from the adjacent trail – after all, it’s a public park.

Portland’s harbor view is one of our most cherished assets, and I’d like to think protecting that asset for all would be a factor in city planning decisions. But the way “development fever” seems to be skewing the city’s vision these days, I’m starting to wonder.

Peter Gordon

Portland

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