Park land eyed for housing, solar

ACADIA NATIONAL PARK — In partnership with the towns on Mount Desert Island, the park should explore possible uses for a 50-acre tract of land that Acadia owns in Town Hill, including workforce housing and solar power generation, park and community officials agreed at a meeting last Wednesday.

The rectangular tract has no public access and is not connected to any other Acadia property.

The bill that Congress passed in 1986 establishing Acadia’s permanent boundary directed the National Park Service to convey the land to Bar Harbor for the purpose of building a regional solid waste transfer station. But it soon became apparent that, for several reasons, the Town Hill site was not suitable for that use.

Over the years, there has been little discussion about how the land might be used. But now Acadia is interested in developing housing for its seasonal employees, and there is interest on the island for more solar power generation.

Given that, park officials invited the town managers of the four MDI towns to the meeting last week to discuss options for using the 50-acre parcel. Southwest Harbor Town Manager Justin VanDongen was unable to attend.

Marc Gousse, superintendent of the MDI Regional School System, took part in the meeting, as did representatives of Island Housing Trust and Maine Coast Heritage Trust.

Christie Anastasia, Acadia’s public affairs specialist, said the next step is to have the land evaluated to determine to what extent it could be developed and for what purposes. Congress likely would have to approve any proposed use, because the transfer station is the only option currently on the books.


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. [email protected]
Dick Broom

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