To the Editor: Checks and balances

As an abutter, I have been following the planning board proceedings regarding the Acadia Apartments on West Street Extension.

My question to anyone: is there an appeal process?

Multiple letters to the editor and Mount Desert Islander articles have documented multiple examples of disregard for LUO criteria, comments from lawyers, comments from engineers, public comments, and comments from abutters.

Still the planning board seemingly steamrolls ahead with its approval process. Why, even the town attorney, Mr. Edmond Bearor, reportedly said “The planning board must … be willing to enforce the LUO as written.”

What am I missing?

In the best interest of the town of Bar Harbor, doesn’t the planning board need to follow the LUO?

I agree with Kendra Rand’s letter and the need to support low income housing. That particular location would be ideal for a young family with children. The children could walk to Conners Emerson School.

A senior citizen (myself included) would be able to downsize to an apartment and (given extra sidewalks) get to Hannaford, the Jesup, etc.

Why all the “grandfathering”? Why not 10,000 square feet? Why build a cramped, 5,000-square foot living space?

I request the town fathers and our lawyer to require the planning board to follow the voice of the people… and our written rules. The only way to have a “check and balance” on the planning board is to have the other side of the story be given a more fair hearing. Otherwise the deep pockets of the corporations of the world will drown out the best interests of Bar Harbor. Can the town sue its own planning board for lack of procedural oversight?

I would also request that the final minutes of the next meeting (and the final vote as I understand it) include a written explanation of how all the concerns of the citizens have been addressed.

Walter J. Healey

Bar Harbor

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