ORAL HISTORY: PLANNING FOR WORKING WATERFRONTS IN PORTLAND, MAINE
William (Bill) Needelman, Waterfront Coordinator for the City of Portland, ME discusses the context and evolution of waterfront zoning in the City. The working waterfront is a defining characteristic of Portland, but the condominium boom of the 1980’s threatened to displace traditional fishing uses. Mr. Needelman discusses the public outcry that lead to a local referendum placing a moratorium on all non-marine development along Portland’s waterfront and the 1992 Waterfront Alliance report that was used to inform the development of waterfront zoning and regulation. Portland’s waterfront zoning law, which provides strong protection for commercial berthing while it allows higher end retail and restaurant uses that help subsidize pier improvements, has become a model for the nation. Mr. Needelman shares the City’s experiences and lessons learned in implementing the new zoning regulations to enable both non-marine uses and traditional marine activity along an urban waterfront.