BAR HARBOR — The proposed new Mount Desert Street Inn bed and breakfast was slated to come before the Design Review Board (DRB) Oct. 13 for a final decision. If the board grants a certificate of appropriateness, the project moves back to site plan review with the Planning Board, which was tabled earlier this summer.
Owner Steve Coston, architect Todd Hardy and engineer Greg Johnston have appeared before the DRB several times this summer, making changes to the building plans after each meeting. The footprint of the building and number of rooms changed as a result of those revisions. Board members suggested ways to make the new building look more like a private mansion and less like a hotel, including a lower roofline and a wraparound porch.
Planning Board member Joe Cough shared a list of questions about the application at last week’s Planning Board meeting, asking Planning Director Bob Osborne to forward them to the applicants ahead of the next meeting.
“I didn’t want to ‘zing’ them at the meeting,” he said.
Cough’s questions included a request for approval from the state Department of Transportation, because he said Mount Desert Street is within their jurisdiction. He wanted more details on curb cuts, loading berths, traffic patterns and distances between driveways and property lines.
The site plan review requires a traffic study, he said. The application includes “anecdotal evidence collected in April and May,” but he said that might not be sufficient. “We’re talking about a pretty substantial increase in traffic, particularly as it relates to Spring Street. I’d like them to explain how the plan will minimize congestion and avoid generating traffic on that local access street.”
At last week’s meeting, Osborne also said he wanted to review the relevant parts of the land use ordinance to make sure there were no issues with the site plan review having been tabled for many weeks.
“I don’t want to get in a situation where the Planning Board takes action that turns out to be invalid because of some timing issue. If we’ve run on too long, we may have to schedule another completeness review.”