To the Editor:
What do the people of Bar Harbor want their future town to be? Will it continue becoming a modern-day Coney Island or Old Orchard Beach, or will the planning board decide, instead, to encourage the town to become a pleasing, livable village, filled with beauty, character and people who are committed to a sustainable, viable year-round community which welcomes guests while residents are able to go on with their customary lives? By deciding whether to improperly permit the site plan approval of Ocean Properties at 25 West Street Extension, the members of the planning board are in the process of making another decision which could foretell the future of our village.
When the resolution was made that our town would be monetized to the maximum and that only cash profits would be the priority, one word has subsequently stood out on every unappealing thing, and that word is “me”: my wants, my profits, my perhaps less-than-appealing building, and my determination to capitalize every square foot of available space, regardless of whether the town we have been creating is aesthetically pleasing.
Have we been creating a village which is worthy of existing next to Acadia National Park, one of the most beautiful places on earth?
Now the planning board has the opportunity to bring uglification to a halt in protecting the 1810 Farm House and its magnificent Beatrix Farrand Gardens from further degradation. To do so requires a refusal to approve Ocean Properties’ bid to build even more temporary seasonal worker housing on a lot in what was determined in the Comprehensive Plan to be a residential neighborhood.
Even the initial encroachment of Ocean Properties’ worker housing, which resulted in the eviction of every resident, was mistaken and, even then, threatened the Old Farm, a nationally designated Historic Preservation Property.
Subsequently, drug paraphernalia and liquor bottles were left on the 1810 Farm House property, according to testimony at the first part of the hearing. A toilet was also reportedly flung from one of the windows of the worker housing units.
“Put beauty first and what you do will be useful forever; put useful first and you will lose it,” says Roger Scruton, who is in charge of making architectural decisions in England. “We all know what it is like in the everyday world to be transported by the things we see, and suddenly life is worthwhile.” The 1810 Farm House property, which has been generously shared with the people in our community along with three United States presidents as well as travelers from all over the world, is such a place. It has earned the right to be protected from views of further unsuitable encroachment.
Anne Marie V. Quin