Portland to consider temporary pause of demolitions on Munjoy Hill

Can owners demolish buildings to create more, higher priced units

PORTLAND, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- City officials in Maine's largest city will soon consider temporarily banning the demolition of some buildings on Munjoy Hill. 

The temporary ban comes after residents raised concerns about how the rapid pace of development is changing the character of the East End neighborhood.

Munjoy Hill is considered one of the hottest markets in the state. 
Residents say affordable housing and historic buildings are being torn down and replaced with large, high-end condo projects they say are out of scale with the neighborhood.

The most recent project would demolish a two-family home on St. Lawrence street and replace it with a five-unit building. 

The home was built in 1850's. 

Next month the city council will take up a proposed a six-month moratorium on teardowns. 

It would also give planning officials a chance to review the 2015 ordinance. 

Residents say they are not trying to control development just make sure it is being done the right way.

'We don't want to prevent developers from building new structures we would like to pause it a little bit and see what fits in the community and maybe the city can it in with the aesthetics and the footprint of it,’ said Jay Norris, the president of the Munjoy Hill Organization. 

If passed the moratorium would not affect projects that have already been approved. Officials with the Southern Maine Landlord Association say the city needs to be careful not create a sense of unpredictability in the market. 

© 2017 WCSH-TV


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