By Carol McCracken (Post # 820)
Late this afternoon two principals of The Forefront at Thompson’s Point met with members of the planning board to discuss their proposal for a mixed-use redevelopment on almost 30 acres of man-made land bordered by the Fore River and I-295, in Libbytown.
Jon Jennings and Chris Thompson, redevelopers presented their Master Plan to discuss transportation and access-related matters of the proposal and to address any other broad issues before submitting their site plan for approval – at a later date this summer presumably. The redevelopers expect to have all of their permitting completed by the end of this year. The two asked for feedback on the entire project since it is still in the conceptual stage.
The private railroad crossing on the property will require extensive – about $1 M worth of work – to convert it into a public crossing. The difference between a private and public crossing is that private time is unlimited spent at the crossing and 5 minutes are permitted on a public crossing according to the railroad consulant at the meeting. Upgrades will be made in accordance with MDOT guidelines.
The Thompson’s Point Connector Road provides the only access and egress to the proposed redevelopment. No additional rights of way are proposed for the site. The roadway will be widened to accommodate all types of transportation. The Fire Chief stated at the session that he believed it was a safe plan.
Thomas L. Gorrill, president of Gorrill-Palmer Consulting Engineers, Inc. said that work is beginning on a Traffic Management Plan which will be under the jurisdiction of the Maine DOT. Traffic flow studies and other issues need to be addressed. Gorrill said he hoped to have that study completed within three weeks or so.
One board member, David Silk, suggested a site-walk at a later date. Chair Jerry Lewis said that because of the size of the project, a much wider distribution of meeting notices should be made to the public. The planning board members present expressed excitement about the project and that it would greatly enhance the Portland area.
Molly Casto, Senior Planner for the City, is the staff person responsible for this project.
The date for the next planning board workshop is yet to be determined.
For more information, please visit Post # 765, dated April 28th.