PORTLAND -- The Port of Portland has put its plans to develop West Hayden Island as a marine facility on indefinite hold.
The port's website announced Wednesday that it was pulling out of negotiations with the City of Portland to annex its roughly 1,000 acres property into city limits.
The move is the latest chapter in a decade-long effort by the port to expand its facilities on the island.
The port purchased the land over a decade ago and has fought against neighbors and environmentalists in its effort to develop it.
After a failed effort to build on the land in the 1990s, the port entered into new negotiations with activists and the city in 2009.
The city must complete a master plan for the area before West Hayden Island can be annexed. This step is necessary in order for any future heavy development.
The port stated the city's latest terms for annexation were too costly for it to bear.
"While the port was agreeable to mitigation exceeding state and federal requirements, the city’s proposed annexation terms simply made the 300 acres unviable in the marketplace. Given the substantial costs and conditions, the port determined that investment of any additional time and money into the process is not justified," the statement said.
The Audubon Society of Portland has been a chief opponent development on West Hayden Island for three decades.
The group believes development on the island would destroy or degrade valuable wetlands and salmon habitat.
“We are pleased that the Port has withdrawn its efforts to annex West Hayden Island,” said Portland Audubon Conservation Director Bob Sallinger in a media statement. “This is a huge win for our communities and our environment.”
Under the now abandoned plan, first negotiated under Mayor Sam Adams, the facility would have set aside 500 acres for environmental restoration and recreational uses and developed 300 acres as a marine terminal.
The proposal would have created an estimated 2,300 - 4,000 jobs, according to the Port of Portland.
Port officials said they will review their options and have not ruled out annexation at some future point.