- Associated Press - Tuesday, February 23, 2021

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) - A proposal to create a historic preservation district in a hilltop neighborhood of Portland will get a second consideration by the city council after a majority voted down the proposal earlier this month.

The second chance comes thanks to the decision Monday by one of the city counselors to essentially switch his vote on the proposed Munjoy Hill historic district, the Portland Press Herald reported.

City Councilor Andrew Zarro, who previously voted against the proposal, asked the council to reconsider it on Monday and voted to do so himself. He explained the switch by saying that he hadn’t supported the proposal initially because he did not have enough information about the potential affects of the historic district on low-income residents and people of color, among other things, the newspaper reported.

The council will consider the proposal again on April 5, and in the meantime, staff will provide answers to specific questions, including about how the boundaries of the proposed district have changed overtime, the newspaper reported.

Discussion about the proposed historic preservation district has been ongoing for three years. It would place about 88% of properties in the proposed area in conservation, which would limit the kinds of approved renovations and prevent the structures from being demolished.

Munjoy Hill is on a high point on Portland’s east side and has views of Casco Bay. Many of the homes in the neighborhood were built between 1850 and 1925.

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