The Tremont Town Office is located at 20 Harbor Drive in Tremont. PHOTO COURTESY OF BRIAN SWARTZ ISLANDER FILE PHOTO

Public hearing set for referendum questions on Nov. 2 ballot 

TREMONT — Residents who want to find out more about a proposed campground moratorium before casting a vote on Nov. 2 have the opportunity at a public hearing next week.  

Beginning at 5 p.m. on Oct. 4, the Select Board is holding a public hearing at the town office to allow residents to learn more about the two local referendum questions that will be on the ballot.  

Question two is focused on enacting a campground moratorium ordinance, which would halt all pending campground applications as well as any new applications for the next six months. It also has an option to extend the moratorium another six months if members of the Select Board decide to do so.   

This question was put on the ballot after a citizen petition was circulated and turned into the town with nearly double the necessary signatures to have it certified. Initiated by a group calling themselves Concerned Tremont Residents (CTR), the proposed moratorium is designed to allow the Planning Board time to make changes to the town’s land use ordinance (LUO) that better define light commercial use and create clearer requirements for campground developments, among other things. 

Question one on the ballot has to do with completing a process that began at this year’s town meeting. Voters are being asked to approve amendments to the town’s Site Plan Review Ordinance. 

Earlier this year, an application review of a different proposed campground brought up several discrepancies between the town’s LUO and site plan review ordinance. Both ordinances were in a single ordinance until recently. Upon a recommendation from the town’s attorney, there were amendments made to each ordinance to integrate the language better and unify standards between them for future application reviews.  

Residents at this year’s Town Meeting voted to approve a new LUO that contained the amendments. Also before voters at the meeting were the proposed amendments to the site plan review ordinance. But changes to that ordinance require a public hearing be set by the Select Board prior to a vote, which did not take place. With the public hearing scheduled on Oct. 4, that requirement will be met and residents can vote on the amendments.  

According to former Town Manager Chris Saunders, the changes have been essentially approved with the previous vote and this second vote is to ensure proper protocol is followed.  

As the two questions are written on the ballot for the Nov. 2 vote, the Select Board recommends adoption of question one and makes no recommendation on question two. 

Sarah Hinckley

Sarah Hinckley

Former Islander reporter Sarah Hinckley covered the towns of Southwest Harbor, Tremont and neighboring islands.

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