A blog for better streets and public spaces in Portland, Maine.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Good Riddance, Joe Lewis; Planning Board Has Openings for Better Planners

Joe Lewis, the chair of the Portland Planning Board since 2008 and a big fan of building subsidized parking at the expense of affordable housing, has tendered his resignation (as the Bangor Daily News reports, Lewis was apparently more ashamed of having his sex life made public than he was about forcing nonprofit housing agencies to spend millions of dollars on unneeded parking garages over the past four years).

There's actually a total of four positions on the Planning Board opening up next month. This is a great opportunity to create a more progressive Board, and in turn, a more sustainable approach to zoning and land use in the City of Portland.

This is an ideal opportunity for architects, planners, businesspeople, housing advocates, real estate professionals, and other enthusiasts of high-quality urban design. Here's the job description:

The Portland Planning Board has responsibility to recommend adoption and amendments to the comprehensive plan of the City of Portland, and to advise the City Council and Departments on implementation measures for the plan. The Board has jurisdiction to hear, review and approve applications for development including site plans, subdivisions, street vacations, shoreland zone, and other regulations governing development as appropriate. The Planning Board makes recommendations to the City Council on applications for zoning text and map amendments, contract rezonings, and amendments to or substantial revisions of the Zoning Ordinance.
Additional information is available in the City Clerk’s office, on the City’s website at www.portlandmaine.gov or at 874-8677. Deadline for submission is November 2, 2012. Please send a resume and cover letter to Appointments Committee Chairman, c/o Katherine L. Jones, City Clerk, 389 Congress Street, Portland ME 04101 or klj@portlandmaine.gov.

1 comment:

Patrick said...

Joe was pretty progressive on some issues, at least from my perspective.

I wonder who the other two openings are from?

Although the primary role is administration, not policy creation, it is key to get the composition of this board right, you are correct.

Ultimately, the appointments are influenced by the politics of those appointing, which limits the progressive nature of the board to the current level of progressiveness of the Council, for better or worse.

Let's hope the positive development momentum keeps going, whoever is appointed!