SOUTH PORTLAND — As part of the fiscal year 2017 capital improvement project budget, which was approved by councilors Monday night, city staff will soon begin begin developing a West End Master Plan.
Similar to the Mill Creek Master Plan, but smaller in scope, the master plan for the west side of the city will focus on the Westbrook Street corridor from the intersection with Western Avenue to the Portland International Jetport – a corridor that hasn’t seen much change in the last few decades, City Manager Jim Gailey said Wednesday, with the exceptions of Redbank Village and the Brickhill neighborhood.
The council allocated $30,000 for the preliminary effort, half from the city’s fund reserves and half from a Community Development Block Grant.
Corridor zoning is a mix of residential, limited business and suburban commercial districts. The plan is to re-examine zoning to determine if it should be reconfigured to better support “growth and businesses,” but the type of growth and businesses that would better accommodate the surrounding residential neighborhoods, Gailey said.
The area is a high-density residential corridor, and the goal is to attract “businesses along the main thoroughfare that are serviceable to people in the district,” he said.
Asking questions like “Is the limited business district the right zoning to support the type of uses that we want to see prosper along that Westbrook Street corridor?” will be necessary once the process begins, Gailey said.
Other components, like streetscape design and improved pedestrian and bicycle access, will also be looked at by staff and hired consultants, he said.
Once completed, the project is likely to be most similar in scope to the roadway and sidewalk makeover along the Main Street corridor in Thornton Heights, and the zoning changes that have been made over the last few years in an effort to tailor the type of businesses that move into the area.