The Bar Harbor Town Council unanimously adopted a Housing Policy Framework during their October 1st meeting. The framework outlines goals and strategies to address housing-related issues in the town in the years to come.

Housing Vision

Support Bar Harbor’s year-round community by having adequate and affordable workforce housing for residents who work in town, for families hoping to raise their children here, for seniors hoping to stay in the community as they age, and for businesses looking for a stable workforce and housing base needed to expand the town’s year-round economy.

Housing Goal

Provide a framework for the Town of Bar Harbor to ensure that the Town Council is fast-tracking the increase in housing availability and affordability for year-round residents by addressing the unique and pressing housing challenges as identified in, but not limited to, the 2007 Comprehensive Plan, the 2012 Economic Development Strategy, the 2017 and 2018 Council Vision, and the 2018 Island Housing Trust HousingNeeds Analysis and Assessment.

Strategy 1 - Develop Short Term Rental Restrictions

  • Curtail the conversion of year-round housing to Short Term Rentals
  • Retain neighborhood integrity by ensuring that residential neighborhoods do not become lodging zones.
  • Support increased enforcement.

Strategy 2 - Develop Zoning for Employee Housing

  • Provide affordable seasonal employee housing, preferably in the village area and on land that is served by water and sewer,and in close proximity to employment

Strategy 3 - Develop Housing Needs Assessment and Action Plan

  • Identify a range of housing types, sizes, and densities to ensure they meet the needs of the community.

Strategy 4 - Identify Zoning Barriers to Housing

  • Identify if the Land Use Ordinance creates barriers to the development of affordable workforce housing

Strategy 5 - Encourage Low to Moderate Income Housing through Zoning

  • Provide incentives for Low to Moderate Income housing development that encourages developers and others to engage in Low to Moderate housing development

Strategy 6 - Create Partnerships with Community Organizations

  • Develop, maintain, support partnerships with community organizations, as well as regional and state partners to collaboratively address local housing needs.

Strategy 7 - Create Partnerships with Large Employers

  • Plan for appropriately dense housing,in proximity to places of employment,which fits with the character of the community and contributes to the tax base

Strategy 8 - Secure National Park Service Town Hill Land

  • Secure the 40-acre Town Hill parcel,originally earmarked in the 1986 Park Boundary Legislation for an island-wide transfer station,for the purpose of year-round affordable workforce housing

Strategy 9 - Ensure Quality Rental Housing

  • Maintain and improve the quality of the existing rental housing stock.

Strategy 10 - Reduce Red Tape

  • Streamline the Approval Process to save time and reduce cost

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