Neighborhood Road runs across this middle of this map of Northeast Harbor. Mount Desert 365 has bought housing lots on the road to build affordable housing in the hopes of boosting year-round business in town. IMAGE COURTESY OF GOOGLE MAPS

Group buys housing lots in Northeast Harbor



MOUNT DESERT — Mount Desert 365, the nonprofit offshoot of the Mount Desert Economic Sustainability Initiative, has announced it has acquired “several parcels of largely vacant property” in Northeast Harbor for building affordable housing.

The number, location and size of the parcels were not disclosed. But Town Manager Durlin Lunt said they are on Neighborhood Road, which extends from Main Street to Manchester Road.

According to the 365 announcement, the parcels to be developed are in the Village Residential One (VR1) zoning district, which the town’s land use zoning ordinance describes as “appropriate for intensive residential development.”

The VR1 district includes the portion of Neighborhood Road between Maple Lane and Manchester Road, except for a small section on the south side of Neighborhood Road that is in the Shoreland Residential zone.

Kim Keene, the town’s code enforcement officer, said Wednesday that no development plans have been submitted by the 365 group.

“We intend to work with the … Planning Board to explore appropriate neighborhood design options and to collaborate with town and community leaders to develop an aesthetically pleasing plan for these new, modestly-sized homes and lots,” the group said in its announcement.

“Expanding the supply of affordable housing options is essential to attracting year-round residents to our villages. And a vibrant year-round community is critical to the long-term success and sustainability of our local merchants.”

The announcement quoted Lunt as saying the town looks forward to working with Mount Desert 365 to explore options for creating new homes in Northeast Harbor.

“These homes will attract much needed new members to our community … who will represent a new generation of volunteers to our schools and committees,” Lunt said. “They will make an important impact on our town, especially for our merchants during the off season.”

Kathy Miller, who has been hired as executive director of Mount Desert 365, will be on the job starting June 1.

Dick Broom

Dick Broom

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Dick Broom covers the towns of Mount Desert and Southwest Harbor, Mount Desert Island High School and the school system board and superintendent's office. He enjoys hiking with his golden retriever and finding new places for her to swim. dbroom@mdislander.com

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