Hotel Decision Inches Closer

BAR HARBOR — Hotelier Tom Walsh has altered the roof of a proposed 102-room hotel proposed for West Street, in a bid to gain planning board approval.


The proposed building has been reduced to four stories, in response to planning board member comments, Mr. Walsh’s representatives told the planning board Jan. 20. No hotel rooms have been removed; rather, two uses slated for the rooftop have been reconfigured.

The rooftop fitness room has been eliminated, landscape architect and project representative Perry Moore said following the meeting, but the swimming pool remains on the plans.

The planning board has taken issue with both uses in the past, stating that they constitute a fifth story on the building. Board members say that five stories are not allowed by the land use ordinance (LUO).

Mr. Moore and others have argued that five stories are allowed, so long as the building’s overall height remains under 45 feet. Mr. Moore said that his beliefs have not changed, but that the latest plans represent an attempt to meet the planning board in the middle.

The fitness room was taken off the roof because the walls and roof around it would have constituted a fifth story, Mr. Moore said. As for the rooftop pool, it originally was to be raised from the roof several feet and surrounded by a deck, which Mr. Moore said would have constituted a fifth story.

New plans, however, show the top of the swimming pool at the same level as the roof, eliminating the fifth story. Basically, Mr. Moore said, the swimming pool has been incorporated into the fourth floor of hotel rooms.

“The pool takes up part of the volume of what’s going to be the fourth story,” Mr. Moore said. “What were saying is, ‘Okay, you don’t want five stories, there’s four stories.”

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