Public Input Sought for Future Planning India Street Neighborhood

Alison Brown, President, India Street Neighborhood Association.

By Carol McCracken  (Post # 1,307)

The public is invited to attend an Open House on Saturday, March 16, 2013 between 12:30 pm – 5:30 pm at the Maine Jewish Museum, 267 Congress Street, Portland.  The purpose of the Open House is to gather ideas that might be incorporated in an innovative planning process that has just begun for the 15-block India Street neighborhood area.  The event will be hosted by SustainSouthern Maine and the India Street Neighborhood Association.

Residents of the neighborhood and those who frequent the many neighborhood businesses can help identify what then want to preserve and what is missing in an informal, drop-in atmosphere.  Free snacks, coffee and hot chocolate will be provided.

Brief talks on India Street’s history and urban architecture by Greater Porland Landmarks, the Portland Society of Architects as well as a walking tour highlighting neighborhood stories will also be available at the Museum.

Sustain Southern Maine has selected the India Street neighborhood as one of ten Centers of Opportunity study areas in the southern Maine region.  The neighborhood is a historic slice of Portland on the brink of change.  Classic old Portland architecture abuts newly built condos.  Bustling new construction overlooks now empty lots fallen prey, at least temporarily to the recession.  As home to many well-known food destinations, the neighborhood draws visitors from Greater Portland and beyond.

As a Center of Opportunity, India Street’s input and plans will be used for a more detailed city planning initiative.  The lessons learned from this process will also help guide other neighborhoods looking for ways to grow that are compatible with the content of the area, increases residential and commercial density and supports sustainable growth patterns.

In 2010, the Greater Portland Council of Governments was awarded a $1.6 million Sustainable Communities Planning Grant by the US Department of Housing and Urban Development for this regional planning effort.

“The India Street neighborhood is proud to be part of this innovative planning project.  We hope to see many of our neighbors, homeowners, business owners and customers on March 16 at the Jewish Museum sharing thoughts and ideas on how to make this neighborhood even better than it already is,” said Alison Brown, president of the India Street Neighborhood Association.

For more information, please visit Post # 1,287, dated 2/5/13 herein and www.sustainsouthernamaine.org