The City of Portland, has conducted a review of policies and zoning relating to Portland's Central Waterfront, located west of the Maine State Pier and east of the International Marine Terminal.
The Central Waterfront is home to 15 piers, dozens of marine and non-marine businesses, and is the center of the region's fishing economy. In the 1990s, policies and zoning for Portland's Central Waterfront were developed to protect traditional marine business while allowing other compatible uses. In 2009, citing a need for increased revenues, eleven commercial property owners in the zone applied to relax restrictions on development, prompting a policy evaluation for the district.
Following adoption of the revised zoning for the Waterfront Central Zone the City prepared material for submission to the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) for approval of the new zoning under the Mandatory Shoreland Zoning Act. The DEP approved the new zoning in May 2011 and the revised WCZ is currently in effect.
In conjunction with passage of the new zoning, the Portland City Council required that the City Planning Division develop an inventory of uses within the Central Waterfront to provide a baseline to monitor the effects of the new zoning. The required inventory is nearing completion and the results are anticipated to be reported to the City Council and posted at this website over the summer of 2011.