Portsmouth Passes New Building Height Limits

Sep 16, 2013

The Portsmouth City Council voted Monday night to limit building heights downtown.  After months of impassioned discussion, the vote on this controversial ordinance passed with no discussion at all.

From now on, all buildings in downtown Portsmouth must  be under 45 feet tall.

Eric Spear, who is Mayor of Portsmouth and sits on the Council, says there are ways develpers can get exemptions.  Those include providing underground parking, and creating publically accessible open space. 

But all of those exeptions have to go through the historic district commission, and they look at those closely, and see if they are a good fit for the community.

Previous building height limits were 50 feet and 60 feet, depending on the part of town.