May 21, 2018
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Bar Harbor voters to consider land transfers, zoning changes

By Bill Trotter, BDN Staff

BAR HARBOR, Maine — Local voters next Tuesday will be presented with two land use zoning questions aimed at allowing the local YMCA to expand.

A third local referendum question would, if approved, change the zoning of a property on Maple Avenue from downtown residential to downtown business, which is how it was zoned before a zoning map was amended in 2010, according to information printed in the local election warrant.

The three land use referendum questions are the only municipal items that local voters will consider during the statewide election on Tuesday, Nov. 6.

The Mount Desert Island YMCA on Park Street is seeking voter approval on two of those questions that would enable the Y to pursue an expansion project at that location. The organization is hoping to increase the size of its building by about 40 percent.

One question asks voters to authorize the town council to take several steps to enable the expansion, including amending the 99-year lease the Y has on the property, which is owned by the town. Bangor Hydro-Electric Company plans to give part of an abutting property it owns on Edgewood Street to the Y, which then would donate the parcel to the town. Another parcel of land on Edgecomb Street that is owned by the Y also would be donated to the town. Voters have to approve these transfers, related access easements and a subsequent amendment to the lease, which the Y has held since 1994, before the Y can pursue the expansion project.

The second question that pertains to the proposed expansion project would change the zoning of the Edgewood Street parcel now owned by the Y. Currently, that parcel is zoned residential and is leased by the Y to MDI Hospital, which uses it for employee parking, Y officials have said. Voters will have to approve a new zoning classification for that parcel before the Y can build an addition on it.

Polls will be open at the municipal building on Cottage Street from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

Follow BDN reporter Bill Trotter on Twitter at @billtrotter.

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