A firetruck sits outside the Southwest Harbor Fire Department, where voting will take place on Election Day. PHOTO COURTESY OF JACK MARTEL

Zoning change goes to vote

SOUTHWEST HARBOR — Residents will vote Tuesday on amendments to the land use ordinance along with four statewide referendum questions.

Polls will be open at the fire station from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The proposed amendments apply to Zone B, which is outside the densely developed downtown area yet includes most of the town. According to the ordinance, properties within the zone either have access to public water and sewer lines or can easily connect to these utilities. The zone has a mixed use, with commercial, industrial and residential properties.

One of the two proposed changes is to allow 40 percent lot coverage for commercial uses. The term “commercial use” includes multifamily structures with more than three dwelling units and seasonal cottages in common ownership that are occupied for less than six months a year. The amendment would not apply to condominiums and condominium associations. All current performance standards would apply.

Lot coverage in the zone under the existing ordinance is between 10 percent and 20 percent, depending on what provisions are in place for supplying water and disposing of sewage.

At a recent public hearing on the ballot question, town officials said the change is to encourage affordable housing projects in the town.

The other proposed amendment to the land use ordinance would increase the powers of the code enforcement officer, giving him or her the authority to approve additions of up to 1,000 square feet in size for commercial purposes. Currently, the Planning Board must approve these additions. The aim is to streamline the process for these small-scale projects.








Mark Good

Mark Good

Reporter at Mount Desert Islander
Mark Good

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