BAR HARBOR — Work is underway on construction of a new private gravel road just over a mile long from the current terminus of Arrowhead Road.
The 1.2-mile long road will provide better access to several large lots in the area, owner Shep Harris said. The lots, some of which straddle the Bar Harbor-Mount Desert town line, comprise several hundred acres between Route 102 and Arrowhead Road.
Building permits were issued in October and February for two phases of the road construction. But the site plan for the full project was approved by the Planning Board in 2014.
In their review of the project, the board agreed to grant Harris exceptions to some requirements, Code Enforcement Officer Angela Chamberlain said.
Normally, no new road more than 2,000 feet long is allowed to dead end. In this case, Chamberlain said, “instead of having another connection to a main road, the board allowed them to just do a loop. Police and fire were supportive of not having another connection because it would increase traffic and probably speed.”
Another exception was granted on grading requirements. “In one section, the grade exceeded what was allowed, but it was pretty minor,” Chamberlain said. “So the board felt, instead of making them do a stream crossing or a lot more blasting, those were legitimate reasons to modify the grade.”
In exchange for these modifications of the standards, the board asked for a limit to future subdivision of the existing seven lots.
“That’s where Shep agreed, because these lots are so huge, that he would limit any future development to 34 lots,” Chamberlain said.
“Since we’re doing a loop road, the Planning Board wanted to make sure there wasn’t too much traffic,” Harris said. “So the density will be no more than one lot in 10 acres, but that doesn’t mean that every lot has to be exactly 10 acres.”
A declaration of covenants and restrictions limiting future subdivision to the 34-lot maximum was drafted and approved by the Town Council in October of 2014. The document was recorded in the Hancock County Registry of Deeds, to “run with” the properties if they are subdivided or transferred in the future.
Hedefine Engineering in Ellsworth served as design engineers for the road. The project also required permits from the Department of Environmental Protection and the Army Corps of Engineers.