By Gary Friedmann
I’m writing to urge Bar Harbor voters to vote YES on Articles 2, 3, 4 and 5 on July 14.
Say yes to our town’s goal for affordable housing by simplifying our LUZO permitting process and allowing hotels, restaurants and organizations like COA to house employees on–site and in appropriate areas of town.
These warrant articles have been under development by one of the best town planning departments in the state for more than a year. They have been vetted by a new citizens advisory panel – the broadly representative Zoning Advisory Group. They have been approved by the Planning Board and Warrant Committee. The Town Council has placed these articles before you to empower citizens to take back our town.
It’s so easy to say no.
There are people in this town who are spreading misinformation and employing scare tactics. When they didn’t get their way at the Planning Board and Warrant Committee, they mailed their views to every postal patron in Bar Harbor.
But don’t be misled and distracted from a carefully–crafted path to a better future.
Last October, the council approved a 10-point plan toward affordable housing developed by the town planner. The warrant articles before you now address several of these strategies that include: restrictions on short term rentals; zoning for employee housing; a housing needs assessment and action plan; removing barriers to housing; encouraging low to moderate income housing; creating partnerships with community organizations and large employers; securing the park’s 40 acres in Town Hill; ensuring quality rental housing and reducing red tape.
Together we can make the changes demanded by a growing economy – changes that will allow our children and grandchildren a chance to enjoy living in Bar Harbor. Say yes to the better housing opportunities provided by articles 2, 3, 4 and 5.
Gary Friedmann is serving his ninth year on the Bar Harbor Town Council.