Bar Harbor approves six land use ordinance changes

Posted Nov. 04, 2010, at 12:16 a.m.
Last modified Jan. 29, 2011, at 12:06 p.m.

BAR HARBOR, Maine — Local voters approved all six proposed local land use ordinance amendments during Tuesday’s statewide election.

Also Tuesday, there were mixed results for proposed ordinance amendments in Southwest Harbor, while in Lamoine voters indicated they didn’t want to change the format of their annual town meeting.

One zoning change in Bar Harbor will allow commercial uses along the east side of Route 3 on outer Eden Street. The area has been zoned shoreland residential, but nonetheless has included several hotels and a ferry terminal. Commercial uses now will be permitted in the area under the new zone called Shoreland General Development III.

Voters also expanded the Ireson Hill Corridor to include the Best Western Hotel, which will allow its owner, David C. Witham, to expand the hotel with planning board approval. Other changes include the creation of new districts that consolidate previous districts that had identical development standards, and amendments to official land use maps and to the town’s ordinance enactment process.

In Southwest Harbor, voters approved four proposed changes to town ordinances and rejected three others, according to town officials.

Residents approved an amendment that shifts responsibility for hearing appeals of harbor master decisions from the harbor committee to the town’s appeals board, and another that prohibits commercial tour boat excursions from originating at town docks. Voters also approved the proposed new comprehensive plan and a proposal to clarify definitions in the town’s general land use ordinance.

Rejected were two proposals that would have made taxpayers, rather than ratepayers, financially responsible for the debt service of the town’s water and sewer departments. Southwest Harbor voters also turned down a proposal to amend the town’s shoreland zoning ordinance.

In Lamoine, voters were asked Tuesday in a nonbinding referendum if they would be willing to change their annual town meeting format from an open town meeting, at which there can be discussion and proposals can be amended on the floor, to a ballot vote, which usually attracts more people.

Of those who responded to the question, 436 indicated they wanted to keep town meeting the way it is. Four hundred and four people said they would prefer changing it to a ballot vote.

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