Friends Group Proposes New Multi-unit Language



SOUTHWEST HARBOR — An article to amend the land-use ordinance’s definition of multi-unit housing most likely is heading to a vote at an open town meeting.

 

The petition, signed by about 130 voters, seeks to clarify the definition of multi-unit housing. The petitioners claim the current definition could lead to twice the density of housing than intended by the ordinance.

A group calling itself the Friends of Southwest Harbor presented the petition at a Nov. 10 selectmen’s meeting. Selectmen declined to act on the petition until the validity of the proper number of signatures for a citizens’ initiative was determined.

On Tuesday, town clerk Beatrice Grinnell said the petition has more than the 95 valid signatures needed to meet the requirement set by state law.

The ordinance now defines multi-unit housing as “three or more dwelling units on a lot with a maximum of one existing single-family structure containing a minimum of two dwelling units.” The petitioners propose to change to definition to read, “three or more dwelling units on a lot with a maximum of one existing single-family structure and all new residential buildings containing a minimum of two dwelling units with the units completely separated by a common interior wall, floor and/or ceiling.”

The new definition would be retroactive as of Jan. 1, 2009.

For more political news, pick up a copy of the Mount Desert Islander.

 

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