Pease board OKs housing study at tradeport

4-3 vote approves contentious idea

After being urged to do so by the Portsmouth City Council, the Pease Development Authority’s board of directors has voted form a five-person study committee to investigate the possibility of allowing housing at Pease International Tradeport.

The motion to form the study committee was made by board member and Portsmouth City Manager John Bohenko at the board’s meeting Sept. 21 meeting.

Bohenko asked the board to “take a look” at the issue “once and for all.”

The vote was 4-3 in favor of the motion.

Several Portsmouth officials were in attendance to support the idea, including Portsmouth City Councilor Rebecca Perkins Kowka, who has been promoting the issue. According to the Portsmouth Herald, she stressed that the Portsmouth contingent is “open to being collaborative” and helping to work with the study committee.

Also on hand was former Portsmouth Mayor Tom Ferrini who said he thought the committee could do a “thorough and in-depth review,” adding that he thought housing at Pease could make the region “more competitive,” the Herald reported.

A vocal critic of the Pease housing idea is David Mullen, executive director of the PDA.

He has said that housing there doesn’t “make sense” and that he doesn’t see the economics of it working.”

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