Plan has vision

To the Editor:

A presentation was recently held in Northeast Harbor to imagine what the village center might look like in five or 10 years. It was the result of public input and community initiatives. I was very happy with the design concepts and the logical ideas. Pretty much everything presented seemed like a good idea to me. There was nothing that appeared out of character or too much of a reach.

The plan identified three areas for improvement; Main Street in the NEH village center, the connection to the marina and the vistas towards it, and the development of Tracy Road, including cross connections to Main Street. It addresses improved sidewalks and pedestrian ways, more green spaces, underground utilities and safer intersections, all wrapped up in aesthetic improvements.

Many of the hot button issues were addressed. Foremost, it is of benefit to the year-round residents and summer visitors in equal measure. It does not reduce parking and keeps the diagonal parking intact. It maintains the seasonal one-way / two-way traffic pattern. It logically includes making Tracy Road a locus for additional business growth. It begins to connect the village to the marina. It improves the always sexy infrastructure issues such as removing overhead wires and updated sewer and water.

There was discussion of “return on investment,” a valid and rational point to consider. For me, there is payback in large degree as it prepares us for a vibrant future. It is an investment in ourselves, a belief that we can be better.

I believe the business vitality and tax base of the town of Mount Desert is largely dependent on the five summer months. We absolutely need to be sure we are providing the services and environment that sustain this population.

Creating an aesthetically considered environment for this demographic is our best guarantee for a bright future. The best way to assure a healthy year-round community is to be sure that our summer businesses and summer community are happy.

I believe the summer community is currently underserved, and our village is not at its best. The plan presented helps address this.

Plans change, but this is a great place to begin. Many thanks to Jackie Hewitt and Sam Coplon for guiding it to completion, to the Summer Residents Association and Tony Smith for their support and to Richardson Associates for their vision.

Sam Shaw

Northeast Harbor

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