Blue Hill Bay Mega-Pier Gets Go-ahead from DEP



BLUE HILL — Construction of a controversial pier won approval from the Maine Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) even though the agency appears confused about just where the structure is to be built.

Late last month, DEP approved an application by David Scott Miller to build a 280-foot-long pier for his sailboat on his property located just south of Stills Point on the northeast corner of Blue Hill Neck. With the addition of the approved 60-foot ramp and 14-foot-wide float, the completed pier will extend some 347 feet from the shore into Blue Hill Bay.

Miller’s application drew considerable opposition from his neighbors and nearby landowners, who objected to the pier’s visual impact on the scenic area. The 280-foot deck of the pier is to be supported by five granite cribs. At low tide, the outer end of the pier would be approximately 20 feet above the water.

The South Blue Hill town pier is located about 1.5 miles to the south of the proposed pier. With ramp and floats it extends about 210 feet from shore, about 140 feet shorter than the proposed pier.

According to the order granting Miller a permit, the DEP considers three issues when determining whether a proposed project complies with the department’s regulations on “visual impact”: landscape compatibility, “scale contrast” and spatial dominance.”

Assessing those issues, the department ruled that the pier would be “compatible with the other residential piers on nearby properties,” “will not dominate the landscape for a viewer in Penobscot Bay” and “will not unreasonably interfere with existing scenic, aesthetic, recreational or navigational uses of the protected natural resource.”

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Stephen Rappaport

Stephen Rappaport

Waterfront Editor at The Ellsworth American
Stephen Rappaport has lived in Maine for nearly 30 years. A lifelong sailor, he spends as much time as possible messing about in boats. [email protected]