Design Review Board


Agendas & Minutes

Agendas are available prior to the meetings. Minutes are available following approval.
Most Recent AgendaView All Agendas and Minutes


Additional Information

The Design Review Board reviews all projects which are located within their jurisdiction. Their jurisdiction includes the Downtown Village Districts, the Shoreland General Development I District, Town Hill Business, and the Village Historic District. However, regardless of the district location, any conditionally permitted use or property which houses a bed and breakfast is subject to design review.

Board Process

The Design Review Board must review applications for demolition of structures which are historic, the moving or relocation of a building or sign which is historic, any exterior material change to the exterior of a historic building, sign, fence, or structure. Any new construction of principal or accessory structures, except for single or two family dwellings. Any material change to the exterior of a non historic building, sign, fence, or structure. Any change in existing fences, retaining walls, or freestanding walls, the erection of a new sign, relocation of an existing sign, change of appearance of an existing sign, and seasonal closure of businesses. However, it is advisable to meet with the Code Enforcement/Planning Department staff to determine whether or not Design Review Board approval is required.

A building permit is required for all activities except painting, regardless of approval by any other reviewing body.

Certificate of Appropriateness

In order to ensure the aesthetic quality of Bar Harbor is preserved, the town requires a certificate of appropriateness from the Design Review Board before many changes to the exterior of buildings, or the addition of a sign can be made. Examples of construction or renovation projects that require a certificate of appropriateness include:
  • Demolition or relocation of a historic building
  • Changes to the exterior appearance of an historic or non-historic building including:
    • Windows and doors
    • Williamsburg exterior paint colors - if colors are chosen from the approved design review board color charts (also available in Planning Office) then a Design Review Board Certificate of Appropriateness is not required
    • Siding and roofing
    • Awnings
  • Landscape lighting
  • Construction of a new commercial building or an addition to an existing commercial building
  • Installation or changes in fences or freestanding walls
  • Installation or changes in signage including sandwich boards
  • Installation or changes in outdoor storage or display including vending machines
  • Plans for seasonal closure

Application for Certificate of Appropriateness

Below are links to applications for specific types of projects:

Design Rules