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December 13, 2017 | last updated December 14, 2017 10:52 am

Munjoy Hill residential demolitions prompt proposed moratorium

New zoning rules in Portland, designed to encourage residential development, has resulted in at least 12 demolitions of existing homes for new structures.

One result, The Forecaster reported, is that city councilors are scheduled to vote Dec. 18 on a proposed 180-day moratorium on tearing down Munjoy Hill buildings.

According to Planning Department data, development has added 29 housing units to the neighborhood. But residents say the new housing is pricing people out of the neighborhood.

Munjoy Hill Neighborhood Association President Jay Norris said the organization supports the moratorium proposal.

Jeff Levine, director of the city's Planning and Urban Development Department, told Mainebiz in a written statement: "Staff does not believe the moratorium is necessary but we do think it would be helpful as we look at the zoning on Munjoy Hill and make any adjustments needed. We have been doing an audit of the 2015 zoning for several months now and plan to make some recommendations in early 2018 regardless."

Levine also told the Forecaster: "The market is going to do what it is going to do, and Munjoy Hill is an attractive place to live."

Munjoy Hill residents Maggy Wolf and Paula Agopian told the paper that plans in the works to tear down 19th century homes and replace them with new ones do not fit neighborhood styles or scope.

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