LEWISTON — City Hall could do more to keep residents informed of city-owned odd lots and parcels that could be sold and developed, a city councilor said Tuesday.

“The end goal of this, ultimately, is to get rid of properties the city has that it doesn’t need to have or that serve no purpose for the city,” City Councilor Mike Lachance said. “At the same time, we’ll see some things that we may not have been paying attention to. If someone sees something they like, they can start talking with us and we can get something going. But at least we are opening the doors.”

Lachance asked for a report on city property that could be transferred to private owners, including land and private lots taken over for nonpayment of property taxes.

Staff presented that list Tuesday, along with a map showing where lots are.

City Planner David Hediger said much of the property has city buildings, offices or parks. Others are too small to develop or can’t be developed for physical reasons, such as slope or wetlands.

“Probably half of these are just not developable,” Hediger said. “Either because they are tied up with land conservation or easements or there are constraints from wetlands and you can’t do anything with them.”


City Administrator Ed Barrett said the city’s policy is to sell the lots that are available, if approached.

Lachance said he wants to make those lots more public so potential developers are more likely to find them.

“The city can benefit, the public can benefit and the private sector — developers, homeowners, landowners — everybody gets a win-win,” Lachance said.

Hediger said he could give councilors an updated list in October.


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