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Portland Council OKs Zoning Incentives For Low-Income Housing Development

In an effort to increase low- and middle-income housing opportunities in Portland, city councilors have approved zoning incentives for development along some city corridors and in certain commercial areas.

Jeff Levine, planning and urban development director for the City of Portland, says the city was hearing from affordable housing developers that they were getting outbid for properties they were trying to buy on the private market.

He says the developers couldn’t commit as much money because they didn’t know whether they’d be able to get necessary zoning changes.

“These changes are a way of essentially saying to these affordable housing developers, if you build along these corridors we want to see more development in, we’re pre-permitting these areas of additional height, additional numbers of units, some relief from some of the setback requirements,” Levine says.

He says sites that are pre-permitted and ready to go also help developers when they approach the state for money.

Ed is a Maine native who spent his early childhood in Livermore Falls before moving to Farmington. He graduated from Mount Blue High School in 1970 before going to the University of Maine at Orono where he received his BA in speech in 1974 with a broadcast concentration. It was during that time that he first became involved with public broadcasting. He served as an intern for what was then called MPBN TV and also did volunteer work for MPBN Radio.