To the Editor:
I’m wondering how many residents are aware that there are plans to build a 44-room so-called “Bed & Breakfast” on Cottage Street? Though currently in the Design Review process, with no plan yet available, neighbors are rightfully concerned about the scale of the project. We all should be.
The state of Maine fire marshal treats any lodging over 16 rooms as a hotel/motel, even if it’s called a B&B. Not the case in Bar Harbor, apparently. Here, by applying as a B&B instead of a hotel, potential builders are able to take advantage of a (less restrictive) flaw in our land use ordinance, one that does not require either Planning Board approval or parking regulation if the plan exceeds 20 rooms. How does this make sense?
Does anyone honestly think that we need more accommodations in town, let alone one of this size squeezed in across from Jordan’s and Hannaford’s on Cottage Street? Will it relieve the congestion, lack of parking, overcrowding or enhance the existing neighborhood in any way? Will it address critical concerns identified recently by voters and pollsters?
Just because we can does not mean we should.