Letter: Preserve Hamlin green space in S.P.

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I live on Parrott Street, which abuts the former Hamlin School property. Martin’s Point Health Care is seeking to redevelop this parcel with a medical building up to 17,000 square feet in size. I am opposed to this proposed redevelopment, as currently presented, not because of the type of business Martin’s Point is in, but because of the loss of actively used open space and the placement of large-scale commercial development in a residential neighborhood.

When pressed to provide the smallest building size Martin’s Point would consider, the spokesperson indicated that it would be 12,000 to 14,000 square feet, requiring 60 to 70 parking spaces. This scale of commercial development does not fit with the residential character of our neighborhood.

Additionally, the former school playground is actively used. Kids are using the basketball court. Families picnic on the grass, people play ball with their dogs, and we have a community garden. I understand that the City and Martin’s Point are committed to preserving the garden, but what about the other uses of this open space?

The City Council recently agreed to preserve the field at Main and Westbrook streets, even though residents do not use this property. We need to continue to preserve open space in our heavily developed city. I urge the City Council to preserve the green space at the former Hamlin School property, and sell only the corner portion of the lot for development at a scale that fits our neighborhood.

Susan Chase

South Portland

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