TREMONT —An amendment to the town’s Land Use Ordinance regarding campgrounds will go before voters in May.
Whether Article 45 passes or not won’t have any bearing on campground applications currently before the town’s Planning Board.
Amendments outlined in the article include a 50–foot setback from the outer property line for any camping related activity such as fire pits or picnic tables, a requirement for 30-gallon trash receptacles for all camping structures, adequate buffering from neighboring properties and fire chief approval of constructed fire pits.
Three different campground applications have gone before the Planning Board in the last two years. One application for a 15-site campground with tent platforms and cabins was denied under the assertion that four conditions of the application had not been met. Another 11-site campground with cabins on Kelleytown Road under the name Acadia Wilderness Lodge was approved by the Planning Board. Owners of that campground have recently submitted an application for a 154-site campground with access on Tremont Road. That application is still under review.
In order for a campground to operate, it must also go through an approval process at the state level and qualify for a Department of Health and Human Services license once it has passed all requirements at the local level.
There are two other warrant articles, numbers 43 and 44, focusing on amendments recently made to the Land Use Ordinance and the Site Plan Review Ordinance. These changes were made to “correct certain technical concerns, change certain definitions and to better “synchronize” the two ordinances, as the warrant articles state.
When reviewing the Pointy Head Campground application, the Planning Board relied on both the Site Plan Review Ordinance and The Land Use Ordinance in making their decisions; however, the two ordinances lacked an integration clause that would allow them to do that, explained Tremont Code Enforcement Officer Jesse Dunbar.
When that application was denied, the representatives of the campground appealed the decision claiming they had provided all necessary information under the site plan review ordinance, but it and the LUO were contradictory or inconsistent on certain aspects of the project. After consulting with the town’s attorney and working with Dunbar, the Planning Board presented amendments to better sync the two documents for the Board of Selectmen to approve for the Town Meeting warrant.
Copies of these two ordinances with their changes highlighted are available for review at the town office and will be available at the annual Town Meeting.
This year, Tremont is holding its annual meeting on May 4 and 5. Voting for elected officials by ballot will take place from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. on May 4 at the Tremont Town Office. On May 5, an open–floor town meeting is scheduled to take place in the Mount Desert Island High School parking lot where residents can cast votes from their vehicles. Public officials will be available for questions under a tent at the location during the meeting.