Lab seeks zoning change for the “triangle” 

BAR HARBOR — The Jackson Laboratory is asking the town to expand the scientific zoning around its campus to encompass eight parcels in the “triangle” area between Route 3 and Schooner Head Road.   

“We would like to roll this into one to create a more cohesive campus environment,” John Fitzpatrick, the senior director of facility services for the lab, told the Planning Board at its Oct. 27 meeting.  

Officials with the lab said it was in line with the town’s comprehensive plan and would increase setbacks in the area for any future development.  

All the parcels are owned by the lab and are contiguous with the core lab campus. They are largely residences for employees, postdoctoral associates and graduate students. One of the properties was the former home of the Dairy Bar. 

The lab’s application is the first step in the process to expand the zoning and town meeting would need to approve the change for it to happen.  

In the short term, all the parcels would retain the current use as either undeveloped parcels or housing, a lab spokesperson said in a statement. In the long-term, when the residences have reached the end of their useful life, they would be razed.  

The lab has already razed two buildings – the dairy bar and a former residence – on the properties within the “triangle,” so named because of the wedge shape it makes between Route 3 and Schooner Head Road.  

Setbacks would increase from 20 feet to 100 feet if the zoning were to change. 

“It is JAX’s goal to minimize development in the Triangle and retain these parcels as a natural wooded buffer,” the spokesperson wrote.  

The Planning Board scheduled a public hearing on the application for Dec. 1.  

Ethan Genter

Ethan Genter

Former reporter for the Ellsworth American and Mount Desert Islander, Ethan covered maritime news and the town of Bar Harbor.

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