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Critics Wary As Portland Moves Ahead With West Hayden Island Plans

Portland is moving ahead with plans to annex West Hayden Island, but some critics say the city needs to slow down the review process.

Mayor Sam Adams has supported the Port of Portland’s longstanding effort to annex West Hayden Island to expand operations and open to the public hundreds of undeveloped acres. But he’s leaving office. Conservation groups and mayoral candidates Charlie Hales and Jefferson Smith say the city is moving too fast.

The draft annexation plan is now on the November agenda for the city’s Planning and Sustainability Commission.

A draft Health Impact Analysis released earlier this month found the plans could significantly harm air quality. Port officials say the analysis overestimates potential problems. A senior policy manager at the port, Susie Lahsene, says the annexation is ready to go.

She explained, “We feel that an adequate amount of analysis has been done at this point in time. So we’d be happy to move to the next step.” The port is still discussing ways to mitigate possible harm to the environment from future development.

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