Opponents sue to overturn Portland's approval of Midtown project in Bayside

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PORTLAND — A Cumberland County Superior Court justice will be asked to overturn approval of the Midtown project in Bayside after neighbors Wednesday appealed the Planning Board decision.

Members of Keep Portland Livable were joined by local property owners in the lawsuit, which claims the project does not comply with the city’s Comprehensive Plan and land use ordinances, and that the Planning Board granted more than 20 unauthorized code and regulation waivers.

Plaintiffs also cited a lack of street pass-throughs, open space, and affordable housing, and an incomplete application by Miami-based developer Federated Cos., as grounds to overturn the approval.

The proposed $150 million project would bring four high-rise tower and two parking garages to the Bayside area on city land along Somerset Street.

Plaintiff Martin Margulis said Wednesday the failure to show 3D renderings meant “the mammoth scale of this project and its effects on the neighborhood have been kept hidden.”

Keep Portland Livable co-founder Peter Monro said the group has more than 600 members. Property owners for buildings used by Trader Joe’s, Walgreen’s and Planet Fitness are also plaintiffs in the case.

David Harry can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 110 or dharry@theforecaster.net. Follow him on Twitter: @DavidHarry8.

Portland City Hall reporter for The Forecaster. Baltimore native, lived in Maine since 1989. A journalist since 2005, covering much of Cumberland and York counties. I joined The Forecaster in 2012.