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Posted on: February 3, 2024

Land Use Amendments Proposed for June Town Meeting Warrant

Summaries of the proposed amendments are below. More information, including full text of the proposed amendments, links to recordings of information sessions and the Planning Board public hearings, FAQs and background information is available on the Land Use Information page. Paper copies of the proposed amendments are available in the Municipal Building.

For more information on the amendments, contact the Planning and Code Department at 207-288-3329.

  • LAND USE ORDINANCE AMENDMENT – Employee Living Quarters – This amendment would rename the existing employee living quarters use, allowed in 14 districts, to “employee living quarters-1.” Employee living quarters-1 would be allowed in 11 zoning districts. The amendment would also create a new use called “employee living quarters-2,” which would be allowed in 13 zoning districts. Employee living quarters-2 would be subject to Bar Harbor’s general review standards, in addition to certain design standards and density bonuses (lot coverage bonus). The definition of family would also be changed.
  • LAND USE ORDINANCE AMENDMENT – Shared Accommodations – This amendment would increase housing opportunities by allowing more types of shared accommodations in 10 zoning districts where that use is not currently allowed. Shared accommodations is a housing type that includes individual rooms with shared dining facilities.
  • LAND USE ORDINANCE AMENDMENT – Increased Housing Opportunities – This amendment is necessary to comply with LD 2003 and LD 1706. It is part of a statewide effort to increase housing units by requiring municipalities to remove some regulatory barriers to housing production. It allows for a density bonus of 2.5 times the base density for affordable housing developments in certain areas. It generally allows between two and four housing units per lot where housing is permitted, as well as allowing accessory dwelling units to be located on the same lot as a single-family home, under certain conditions. Furthermore, the amendment would delete Bar Harbor’s “bonus dwelling unit” use because LD 2003 requires a comparable but more permissive use, referred to as accessory dwelling units. The amendment would also prohibit dwelling units expressly created under these provisions to be registered and/or used as short-term rentals.
  • LAND USE ORDINANCE AMENDMENT – Design Review – This amendment would:
    • Update some properties’ names in Appendix A – Historic Properties in Design Review Overlay District
    • Amend a definition related to signage review.
    • Simplify the review process for signs.
    • Adjust the Design Review Overlay district boundaries and area names. 
    • Minimize redundancy by removing Appendix B – Locally Significant Properties in Design Review Overlay District and all reference to it. 
    • Allow more time for the Planning and Code Department to review Design Review Board applications.

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