I am writing to express my appreciation to South Portland Mayor Tom Blake and City Councilors Brad Fox, Eben Rose, and Patti Smith for preserving the integrity of our code of ordinance and putting the health, safety, and best interests of our citizens above short-sighted political pressure.
These four councilors understood that the process by which NGL Supply Terminal Co. applied to build a large propane distribution terminal in the center of our city disregarded our existing codes. While it is unfortunate that NGL’s application was not rejected from the start, the fact remains that neither the initial application nor subsequent revisions complied with South Portland code. When an entity wants to build a project which does not conform to current code, there is an established procedure by which that entity can petition the city to amend the code. The procedure requires abutters of the project to be notified of the requested change and public hearings are held on why the code should be amended.
I am heartened that a majority of the council was able to sort through the distractions and stand up for the rule of law. This has been a tortuous process and South Portland has been accused of not being “business friendly.” I submit that a city which has clear laws and a reputation for upholding those laws is business friendly and allows both business and citizens to plan for the future.