PORTLAND -- The City Council voted Thursday night to continue with plans that could eventually add a 300-acre marine port to the west end of Hayden Island.
The resolution called for steps to annex the property from Multonomah County and to develop specific plans for the port facility and for 500 acres of open space.
The Port of Portland said the new terminal complex could create 1,200 jobs.
"The kind of jobs that are associated with maritime development are high wage blue collar jobs," said port director Bill Wyatt.
The port already knows how to mix industrial and recreational uses in one spot at Terminal 6, said the port's Sebastian Degens.
The divide at the council meeting between supporters of development and those wanting to create open spaces and habitat was wide.
"This is the last big parcel we have to protect," said Bob Sallinger of the Portland Audubon Society, "It's size, it's location, and it's complexity make it unique and irreplaceable."
Timme Helzer of Friends of West Hayden Island said once the port gets a toe hold "you'll have project creep if you try to keep it 200-300 acres. First you'll move it to four then you'll move it to five."
A committee charged with creating an overall vision was equally divided as it presented its report to the council.
Chairwoman Anne Squier said "eight members felt that it was possible to reconcile a mix of meaningful port development and habitat values, six members felt it was not possible and one member abstained."
The resolution passed Thursday call for the annexation and development guidelines to come back to council in December, 2011.