letter to the editor

East side zoning improvements

Posted:  Tuesday, December 5, 2017 - 8:45am

Dear Editor:

The Boothbay Harbor Planning Board identified the need for improved zoning regulations for the east side of the harbor several months ago. As we have publicly stated in our meetings, it is clear that several aspects of the Maritime/Water Dependent District, first introduced in the mid-eighties, need to be changed. Consistent with the Boothbay Harbor Comprehensive Plan, the town needs to protect and encourage existing maritime uses, while allowing existing businesses to make the essential changes and investments they need in order to flourish.

The Planning Board, with the support of the Selectboard, will undertake this task in the coming months, by addressing the entire district, with input and contributions from residents, business owners, waterfront users, and professional planners. The resulting revisions will allow revitalization of the east side while retaining a viable working waterfront.
Zoning changes allow for multiple opportunities for community review and comment, and thus take time. In addition, because the proposed changes occur in the Shoreland zone, the State of Maine will also be an important participant to this process. While we plan to proceed as rapidly as practicable, it will likely be awhile before the final version comes before the voters of the town. This is sufficiently important that, if needed, a special town meeting or referendum vote could be scheduled.

This is important to our town. Join us in making sure we get it right by attending future Planning Board meetings held at 7 p.m. on the second Wednesday of each month.

Tom Churchill, chair, and Bill Hamblen, vice chair

Boothbay Harbor Planning Board