Could 14 story buildings come to South Portland?

South Portland considers raising height limit.

SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) --

Maine is not known as a state with a lot of tall buildings.
Only a handful of communities have structures over ten stories high.
But now, one city is thinking about changing zoning regulations to accommodate projects as high as 14 stories, among the tallest buildings in Maine.

That community is South Portland.
A building that tall could be cost efficient for developers trying to meet affordable housing requirements.
South Portland leaders like counterparts in Portland are worried about rising rents and have proposed requiring apartment buildings with 20 or more units to have ten percent of them affordable to people with median-level incomes.
Taller buildings with more units built on smaller lots could be one way to help middle-income residents in the area.

As of Monday, there isn’t a shovel-ready 14 story building project just yet.

“There isn't,” said South Portland planning director, Tex Haeuser. “We needed to come up with a number and we said ‘how high do you need to go in order to make it affordable to have an elevator and affordable housing.”

There are still other approvals needed before South Portland will allow 14 story buildings in its West End.

One of those is an okay from the city council.

© 2017 WCSH-TV


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