Changes next for LUO

BAR HARBOR — Specific uses such as parking garages and farmers markets are likely to be the next proposed changes to the town’s land use ordinance (LUO) to come before voters, town councilors agreed Tuesday.

Planning Director Robert Osborne reported that while the town does still want to repeal and replace the ordinance, other changes could come first.

“Some of the proposed changes to the LUO were housekeeping in nature and would be nice to fix but are not critical to the mission,” he wrote in a memo to councilors.

“I have been working on an analysis of the uses in the existing LUO and the ‘repeal and replace LUO’ document to best determine what uses are expedient to add to the ballot next June.

Several obvious ones include the addition of the following uses: parking garage/lot use and farmers market use in Downtown Village I; single-family dwelling use, two-family dwelling use and farmers market use in Downtown Village II; and Eleemonsynary, educational or scientific institution use in the Scientific Research of Eleemonsynary Purposes district.”

Councilors agreed that these changes have been discussed for a long time and enjoy broad support.

“These are things that have dragged on too long,” councilor David Bowden said.

For the larger repeal-replace project, Planning Board Chairman Ivan Rasmussen said, “what we would like to do is conduct workshop meetings with those who were in opposition to the rewrite and address the issues they brought up. Whatever fruit that bears, we’ll make a decision from there on repeal-replace. The Planning Board and council have agreed that it is too ambitious to get all that done before next June because the bulk of it would have to happen before September of this year” in order to be placed on the warrant for June of 2016.

Councilor Clark Stivers said a big change like a repeal-replace ought to go on a November ballot, when voter turnout is likely to be higher.

Liz Graves

Liz Graves

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Former Islander reporter and editor Liz Graves grew up in California and came to Maine as a schooner sailor.

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