South Portland seeks residents' opinions about development

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SOUTH PORTLAND — As a step toward developing a long-term economic development plan for the city, the Economic Development Committee is seeking input from residents.

The city hasn’t modified its economic development plan since 2007,  committee member Peter Stocks said.

“Since 2006 our city has had no employment growth, while several surrounding communities have (experienced) more employment and business growth,” Stocks said Wednesday.

The survey of residents will act as a “road map,” Stocks said, and will help guide the committee, and ultimately the city, toward methods of increasing employment and business opportunity.

Members of the committee, with help from Karl Seidman Consulting Services, have been crafting the survey for about a month, Stocks said. 

Among the questions being asked are which economic development goals should be prioritized. Options for answers include, “Reduce income disparities among South Portland residents,” and “Limit the new economic development to allow more residential development and open space.”

Residents are also asked to pinpoint areas of the city where they would prefer economic development take place, such as along the waterfront, along the Broadway corridor, or near the Maine Mall. 

The goal, Stocks said, is for the long-term plan to “be supported by our individual and business residents.”

The committee will host two workshops in the fall to gain additional input.

It has yet to take a position on any specific economic development goals, committee member Ross Little said, “but we’re very much interested in everybody’s input.”

The survey can be found online at

Alex Acquisto can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106 or Follow Alex on Twitter: @AcquistoA

South Portland and Scarborough reporter for The Forecaster. Graduate of Western Kentucky University and the Salt Institute for Documentary Studies. Alex can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 106.