Portland council to take up gun prohibition

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PORTLAND — The City Council will be asked Monday to support expanding state law to prohibit guns in places where mass gatherings take place.

Councilors will also take up a recommendation from the Transportation Committee to reduce developer fees in lieu of parking that were approved earlier this year.

The gun control resolution was recommended 2-0 by the Public Safety Committee on Oct. 12. Councilors Dan Skolnik and John Coyne cast the affirmative votes. Councilor Kevin Donoghue was absent.

The resolution, proposed by Skolnik, supports creating state legislation that would expand the prohibition of guns in certain public places. Currently, guns are prohibited in court houses, jails and at schools, among other public locations.

The council resolution asks that the prohibition be expanded to include city and town halls, recreational facilities, and entertainment facilities including civic centers and convention centers. The additional places are broadly defined in the resolution as “publicly owned or controlled buildings or facilities that host large public gatherings.”

The resolution alternatively supports creating legislation that would enable individual municipalities to enact their own prohibitions, something that is not currently allowed.

Fee changes

The council will also reconsider a fee it passed in June that allows developers to pay into a city transportation fund rather than provide the number of parking spots required under city ordinance for new developments.

In June, the council stipulated a fee of $10,000 for each parking space not provided. The council Transportation Committee is recommending the council reduce the fee to $5,000.

The committee is also recommending the council restore off-site leased parking as an acceptable alternative to on-site parking. The off-site parking leases would have to be for a minimum of five years.

The council meets Monday, Nov. 15, at 7 p.m. in Council Chambers at City Hall.

Kate Bucklin can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or kbucklin@theforecaster.net