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Portland, Maine Approves Inclusionary Zoning

The latest city to implement mandatory inclusionary zoning: Portland, Maine. The City Council decision contradicted the Planning Board's recommendation.
October 22, 2015, 7am PDT | James Brasuell | @CasualBrasuell
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Joseph Sohm

"The Portland [Maine] City Council voted 7-2 Monday to become one of more than 200 communities in the United States to require a portion of housing units in new developments to be affordable to middle-income earners," reports Randy Billings.

"The new rule requires that 10 percent of the housing units in new developments of 10 units or more be affordable to middle-income earners – for example, a family of four earning 100 percent to 120 percent of the area’s median income, $77,500 to $96,875 a year," adds Billings.

The article includes more about the political context for the approval, which came with the support of mayor Michael Brennan but against the recommendation of the city's Planning Board and local developers. Opponents cited the potential of the new requirements to slow down the city's current building boom. Planning Board Chairwoman Elizabeth Boepple is quoted in the article suggesting that new market rate housing in the city could potentially lower rents in the city. According to the article, 862 new housing units have been approved, are under review or are being built in the city.

The new inclusionary zoning ordinance follows a report in January by the Greater Portland Council of Governments finding that the city is increasingly unaffordable to middle-income earners.

Full Story:
Published on Monday, October 19, 2015 in Portland Press Herald
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