Although tax evaluations are overdue, this delay is due solely to the lethargy of the city government. The impact on the citizens of Portland is dramatic! Munjoy Hill is ground zero for paying increasing city budgets. May the reverberations and repercussions of the explosion be witnessed by all municipalities desiring to go in a similar direction.

Munjoy Hill has been dragged unwittingly into the spotlight by evasive, dominating advocates on the hill who spin reality and are able to sway councilors (e.g. Andrew Zarro, District 4) who are without conviction and do not rely on substantive information.

Citizen-led initiatives like Conservation Overlay and the historic district have caused skyrocketing building costs on the hill, stopping development. Only the rich can afford to live here. Longtime residents are being pushed out and the cost of maintenance and rents have increased. Already high expenses are intensified by increased property taxes.

Meanwhile, the people who encouraged exclusivity on the hill through the historic district are now pushing development in other neighborhoods – classic NIMBY. Other neighborhoods, pay attention and avoid this exclusionary path, paved by excessive scrutiny over style of new home builds, obsession over losing the essence of the neighborhood, the fact that it takes only one person to nominate a historic district, pitting neighbors against one another and pushing BIPOC and lower-income people out.

It took three years, thousands of dollars and a complicit mayor to justify a historic district, increasing the budget and taxes even more.

Anne Manganello

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