BAR HARBOR — A proposed reorganization of the land use ordinance (LUO) expected to come before voters this November is slated for a public hearing on Tuesday, Aug. 5. The meeting in the town council chambers of the municipal building begins at 7 p.m.
The proposed new LUO, available for review at BarHarborMaine.gov, the planning office, the town clerk’s office and the Jesup Library, contains few major substantive changes. The project, managed by attorney Mary Denison, is meant to simplify and better organize the document, remove inconsistencies and streamline the development process. These goals were outlined in the 2007 comprehensive plan.
The rewritten LUO would make several organizational and process-oriented changes, including eliminating the Appendix C table of uses and separating residential subdivision and commercial site development review. Uses now listed in Appendix C would be incorporated into separate sections for each zoning district. Each section would contain its own district map.
The LUO redo project has been in the works since 2010.
Town officials have stated that the project is not aimed at making any policy changes. Acknowledging many citizens’ calls for such changes, officials have said that the document must first be simplified and better organized before any such changes could be considered. Town councilors have referred to the rewritten document as step one in a broader project to create a better LUO for the town.
One actual change in zoning would be the allowance of parking garages in the Downtown Village 1 district. The Downtown Village 1 district includes the municipal Backyard Parking Lot, where town officials are studying the feasibility of building a parking garage.