Friday, April 27, 2007

NEWS CENTER WCSH 6

Council Spars Over Pier Process

Web Editor: Caroline Cornish, Reporter
Created: 4/25/2007 10:34:53 PM
Updated: 4/26/2007 2:14:03 PM






Portland city councilors got into an argument Wednesday evening, while discussing how they'll be deciding on a proposal to redevelop the Maine State Pier. The two newest councilors, Kevin Donoghue and David Marshall, feel the process is not entirely clear.



The city council set a deadline of February 22 for developers to submit their design concepts for the Maine State Pier.

Two developers came through with $90 million plans. But while the Olympia Companies's plan has remained unchanged since that February 22 deadline, the other company, Ocean Properties, has changed its plan. Company officials said the changes are a way of reflecting community input they've received.

The Community Development Committee is charged with recommending a plan to the full council. At the committee's meeting Wednesday evening, Donoghue argued the committee should put in writing that it is only considering the proposals as they were made on February 22.

Committee chair Jim Cloutier, meanwhile, said the council made it clear a long time ago when it asked for proposals that this is a fluid process, and developers are allowed to make changes.

The committee voted to let councilors decide this issue any way they want. The committee also voted to host four different public hearings, each on a different aspect of the project. Topics include state and local regulations, the functions the plans would serve, the design of the projects, and their financing.

The committee will make its recommendation to the council in June.

NEWS CENTER

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