South Portland’s vision has always been to preserve open spaces, encourage development of affordable housing, and protect the working waterfront. We recognize the need to encourage young working adults to reside here and provide essential services. Yard South runs counter to this vision.

Developers have purchased 30 acres in the Shipyard District adjacent to 13 oil and gasoline storage tanks. This area is an urban fill brownfield, zoned for commercial development. Yard South is requesting a zone change to residential. Their plan describes residential 18-story towers on urban fill with degraded air quality. Anticipated sea rise in this area is 8-feet, 8-inches by 2100, without an effective mitigation solution. The plan describes 1,200 units (with potentially limited parking for 600 vehicles), and only 60 designated as affordable units.

This is not NIMBY opposition, but a plea to preserve Ferry Village against further gentrification. The current residents will be priced out when wealthy people move in, raising real estate values and taxes. We need safe, affordable housing with open spaces and public access to attract essential workers. How will Yard South’s dense luxury residential development affect SoPo’s infrastructure, i.e. waste water management, sludge disposal costs, traffic on Broadway?

No zone change. The Shipyard District needs to remain a commercial zone and a working waterfront. Save Bug Light Park and parking for public use. Protect the public boat launch.

Rachael Coleman
South Portland

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