Bar Harbor adopts cell-tower rules, dark-sky lighting

Posted Nov. 05, 2008, at 10:24 p.m.

BAR HARBOR, Maine — A proposal to limit the minimum distance that local wireless communication facilities can be from schools was one of several land use ordinances that local voters approved Tuesday.

Voters also agreed to form a charter commission to consider possible changes to the town charter, such as reducing the number of seats on the Town Council, and to adopt lighting standards for new development to help promote the visibility of stars at night.

The wireless communication facilities ordinance was changed to increase the minimum distance such facilities can be from local schools from 500 feet to 1,500 feet.

The local proposals were overwhelmingly approved, with nearly all decided by margins between 1,400 and 2,000 votes. The closest tally was a 500-vote margin, 1,607 to 1,106, in favor of changing how official building height is measured in the downtown zone.

Other proposed land-use ordinance changes that were approved include:

• Allowing temporary storage facilities at construction sites.

• Rewording the definition for “gross leasable area.”

• Stiffening reporting requirements for weekly rental property owners.

• Updating regulations for shore-land standards.

• Adding new standards to the town’s planned unit development guidelines.

• Amending the local planning board’s site plan review procedure.

• Eliminating a restriction on the definition of residential garage.

• Allowing exceptions to setbacks in shore-land zones.