FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: GrowSmart Maine Opposes Question C in Portland


CONTACT: Nancy E Smith



Oct. 16, 2020

GrowSmart Maine Opposes
Question C in Portland

PORTLAND – GrowSmart Maine, an organization committed to helping the state grow in a sustainable and equitable way, today announced that it is opposing Question C on the Portland ballot.

“Creating good jobs and long-term community value by developing in a sustainable and resilient way is entirely within our mission. Unfortunately, Question C facing Portland voters will not achieve those goals,” said Nancy Smith, the executive director for GrowSmart Maine. “While there are many problems with the so-called Portland Green New Deal, the most concerning is that it will contribute to sprawl in southern Maine without alleviating housing issues in Portland.”

GrowSmart Maine identified several other issues with the proposed ordinance:

  • The ordinance does nothing to support transit, fund affordable housing or increase allowed development along key city corridors.
  • The proposed ordinance doesn’t provide any funding for below-market affordable housing. Instead, it adds requirements that will make Portland affordable housing projects less likely to receive federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credits.
  • Additionally, the proposed ordinance ignores the recommendations of the Urban Land Institute and Lincoln Institute of Land Policy regarding inclusionary zoning.
  • The ordinance risks driving new housing out of Portland, adding municipal and personal costs of sprawl in southern Maine while increasing development pressure on agricultural lands in the region.

“A thoughtful, inclusive process is far more likely to result in long-term climate benefits and create a real ‘Green New Deal’ for Portland than this current ballot initiative approach, which proposes a complex new ordinance that can’t be changed or fixed by the council for five years and risks many unintended consequences,” Smith said.