Reject LUO

To the Editor:

The Land Use Ordinance (LUO) repeal and replacement in Bar Harbor is more risky, more complex and confusing, lengthier and laden with an overabundance of changes including substantive changes that will negatively impact citizens, homeowners and our neighborhoods. It makes the rules less friendly and harder to use; less favorable and more time consuming to use. It is a bad idea and needs to be stopped.

All the helpful quick reference tools are eliminated. It’s difficult to know where to begin or what topics are located in each article. I can’t look to see where an activity or use is allowed or disallowed without exploring all 39 districts.

It takes longer to locate a specific district/map because no rational order is applied. Individual district maps have so many problems which negate any positive purpose except to use as a divider between districts. It’s taken me 30 hours/week for five months to get through less than half of the LUO replacement.

It’s difficult to verify the changes when Appendix C isn’t included with the highlighted version. Plus some zoning codes and wording have changed or been deleted without being highlighted/marked. Other changes are interpreted inaccurately. Activities and uses were separate but now combined to create more confusion.

Public Utility Installation was an activity without a permit. It’s now a use requiring a permit. A building permit was granted for a substation in the Village Residential zone. I don’t believe it was an allowed use.

If the LUO replacement passes, this use will be allowed with planning board approval in 30 districts. Inconsistencies exist between articles and direction is lacking when more information is located in additional Articles or subsections. Reorganization was not done as evidenced by district/map order placement and design review following the definitions section.

The LUO repeal and replacement will discard the existing LUO in whole and 20 years of wording will disappear. Where is the logic in discarding articles with little or no changes?

Why not take it district by district where material is more manageable, easier to review and digest; where problems will be caught more easily and mistakes can be avoided? Many problems with the LUO replacement have been pointed out on many occasions.

I believe the LUO replacement is not in conformity with state law because it is not consistent with the comp. plan. Citizen rights are being stripped.

The town attempted to conquer the LUO in one fell swoop before, creating many changes throughout, that eventually ended at the losing end of a costly lawsuit.

If one problem exists, then the whole thing needs to be voted down. If it is adopted with numerous errors and unknown changes, it will probably lead to major problems, illegalities and lawsuits.

Please vote “No” on the LUO replacement!

Terri Zabala

Bar Harbor

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