This 1880 farmhouse and surrounding buildings on a 4.5-acre Crooked Road parcel, formerly owned by the Keene family, will be renovated and added onto to make 13 dwelling units with an “affordability component,” pending approval by the Planning Board. ISLANDER PHOTO BY BECKY PRITCHARD

Proposed subdivisions aim to increase year-round housing

BAR HARBOR — Subdivisions still in their early planning stages are being proposed in Hulls Cove and Salsbury Cove. According to the applicants, both projects are an attempt to add more year-round housing to the island.

The Harbor View Project is a proposed housing development at 25 Crooked Road. The applicant and owner of the property, listed as ABC, LLC, intends to renovate an 1880 farmhouse into a duplex, according to a pre-application reviewed by the Planning Board in September.

Three other homes on the 4.5-acre property, a log cabin and two chalets, will be renovated and sold as single-family dwelling units. Seven additional buildings will be added, one of them a duplex, for a total of 13 dwelling units. The buildings will all be serviced by town water and sewer.

The property was owned by Gerald and Barbara Keene for many years, and the couple ran a bed & breakfast on the site for some time. A man-made decorative pond that also handles stormwater runoff for the area will remain.

According to Mike Rogers of Lark Studios, who is working on the project, there will be an “affordability component,” the details of which being are worked on.

The pre-application states that the project may be marketed as a “houseaminium,” in which people will own their house, but not the land it sits on. This would reduce the amount owed in property taxes by each individual homeowner.

The Farm is a proposed subdivision off Route 3 and Ledgewood Road, on land that was in the McFarland family for years. A pre-application for the proposed subdivision was reviewed by the Planning Board in October.

Applicant Joe Cough said he intends to subdivide the 73-acre property into “eight or nine lots. Most of the lots will be capable of more than one dwelling unit,” Cough said. Pre-application plans identify 12 building lots. According to plans, about 36 acres will be retained by the developer.

The lots will not be serviced by town water and sewer. “Each lot will have an approved septic area,” Cough said, with wells and septic systems to be added by future owners.

The pre-application states, “The developer is committed to keeping the offerings affordable and intended for permanent, year-round residents,” and is “considering options for limiting short-term rentals on the project.”

A road will be built to access the building lots, and fire ponds will be installed. No sidewalks are planned, but a trail network on the property is likely, according to application materials. The property extends back to Fresh Meadow, a marsh part of which is in Acadia National Park.

Cough stated in the pre-application that he hopes for the town to accept the road and the fire ponds once they are built. This would mean the town, not the lot owners, would be responsible for their maintenance.

Cough said it was still early in the process, and planners are still “tweaking” plans for the road. “I think our next application will show a much better plan,” he said.

Both proposed subdivisions have undergone the pre-application process, and now must apply to the planning department and have their applications reviewed by Planning Board, with opportunities for public comment.

“We’re hoping to get some approval by February so we can begin construction in the spring. That remains to be seen how quickly the approval process will go,” said Cough, who also serves on the Planning Board.

Rogers said renovation work has already begun on the existing three single-family homes on the future Harbor View Project, while the applicant prepares to apply to add more dwelling units.

Becky Pritchard
Former Islander reporter Becky Pritchard covered the town of Bar Harbor and was a park ranger in Acadia for six seasons.
Becky Pritchard

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