Big surprises

To the Editor:

Do you really believe the Town Council’s claims that the land use ordinance (LUO) rewrite is just formatting and that there are no substantive changes and no new permitted uses in your neighborhood?

Town Hill residents are in for some very big surprises! Hotels and motels with restaurants and more would be allowed in all of Town Hill Residential District if the LUO Repeal and Replacement gets approved on June 9. Currently just one very small area for transient accommodations allows the existing Sunnyside Motel to be a permitted use in this district. In all the rest of Town Hill Residential, only the smallest level of bed and breakfast (one to three rooms in the home of a year-round resident) is permitted.

The LUO rewrite would add transient accommodations TA-2 through TA-7, which include large B&B’s, hotels or motels with restaurants and more, to all of Town Hill Residential, one of Bar Harbor’s largest and most desirable residential districts. This is a very big, substantive change that is not marked and that has never been mentioned in any of the town’s explanations of LUO revisions.

The Town Hill Residential District extends from North West Cove out on Indian Point on the western side of Bar Harbor, northward along Western Bay all the way to the head of the island, and then continues around Eastern Bay to Northeast Creek. It includes the land on both sides of the Route 3 scenic byway from the head of the island all the way to Salisbury Cove corridor. Inland, this district also includes land along part of the Crooked Road and on Frenchman’s Hill, as will as the top of Town Hill continuing south as far as the Mount Desert line. It’s big, it’s beautiful, and it’s residential.

Adding large B&B’s, hotels and motels would radically change this very special district. Voters need to understand the proposed LUO Repeal and Replacement contains some unpleasant surprises and changes that would negatively impact our lives, the cost of land and homes, and the character of Bar Harbor.

On June 9, vote “No” on Article 2, the proposed LUO Repeal and Replacement.

Diane Vreeland

Town Hill

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