Letter: Portland waterfront debate was all about size

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For more than a year, many West End residents worked hard to remind city and state officials that the western waterfront could be developed without destroying its natural beauty. Even though the media and others often characterized us as being opposed to cold storage, that was not true. What we objected to was the scale of the warehouse proposed by Americold: 70 feet tall and 300 feet wide, a huge structure that would have provided the public with no physical access and with severely limited visual access to the waterfront.

Our fight was never about personal views, as implied by David Harry in his June 27 piece about Americold’s withdrawal from the project (“Americold backs out of warehouse project at IMT”). The western waterfront is an industrial zone and views will change no matter what is built. However, development can happen without walling the waterfront off from the region’s residents or its visitors. Cold storage doesn’t have to be out-of-scale or ugly. Perhaps now that Americold’s oversized proposal that was never economically viable is off the table, consideration can return to construction of the smaller facility for which so many West Enders advocated.

Jo Coyne
Portland

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