Letter to the editor

Please vote

Wed, 04/24/2019 - 11:15am

Dear Editor,

I urge all Boothbay Harbor residents to vote on Friday, May 3 at Town Hall and attend Town Meeting at 9 a.m. on Saturday at the elementary school.  No matter how you feel about the issues, please vote.

If you are undecided, I recommend you vote to pass warrant articles 3, 4, and 5.  The planning board worked long and hard to make recommendations that both protect our critical working waterfront and allow much needed redevelopment.  

Article 3 divides the existing Maritime District into two zones; a Limited Commercial/Maritime District and a Working Waterfront District.  The Limited Commercial/Maritime District allows motels and hotels in the district and requires view corridors for significant new developments on larger lots.  The Working Waterfront District prohibits these and other uses, effectively protecting working waterfront uses.  In both districts the building height is allowed to be 35 feet, up from 30 feet. This is the same as the height limit in the General Business District and one foot less than the building height downtown (where it is 30 feet plus a 6 foot façade). 

Article 4 (mandated by Maine's Department of Environmental Protection) requires that we measure building height from the downhill side of the building, rather than from the average of all sides as we do now.  This will often reduce the impact of the height allowed in Article 3.

Finally Article 5 corrects the punctuation in the definition of Functionally Water Dependent Uses, but does not change the meaning. 

Note the articles do NOT change: the high water setback, the square footage needed per use, the front and side yard setbacks, any of the rules for dealing with pre-existing structures or uses.

These key zoning protections will remain in our codes.

These articles are a fair compromise between protection and development, and I urge their passage.

Finally, with the addition of write-in candidate Merritt Blakeslee for Water District Commissioner, we have excellent candidates for every position on the ballot. You must pick the ones who you like best,  but whatever you decide, VOTE!

Bill Hamblen

Planning Board member