William Needelman | National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Biographical Sketch

Biographical Note:
William “Bill” Needelman is the Waterfront Coordinator for the City of Portland, Maine. He was born in Portland, Maine on April 3, 1964.

Scope and Content Note:
Bill Needelman discusses the context and evolution of waterfront zoning in the City of Portland, Maine. The working waterfront is a defining characteristic of Portland, but the condominium boom of the 1980’s threatened to displace traditional fishing uses. Mr. Needelman discusses the public outcry that lead to a local referendum placing a moratorium on all non-marine development along Portland’s waterfront and the 1992 Waterfront Alliance report that was used to inform the development of waterfront zoning and regulation. Portland’s waterfront zoning law, which provides strong protection for commercial berthing while allowing higher end retail and restaurant uses that help subsidize pier improvements, has become a model for the nation. Mr. Needelman shares the City’s experiences and lessons learned in implementing the new zoning regulations to enable both non-marine uses and traditional marine activity along an urban waterfront.

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