Hotel Meeting Gets Testy

BAR HARBOR — Tensions over hotelier Tom Walsh’s proposed West Street hotel boiled over, while public support for the project surfaced, during a hearing before the planning board on Feb. 4.


Planning board member Kay Stevens-Rosa lost her composure during the proceedings, walked out, and stayed absent the rest of the night; an attorney for a competing hotelier accused Mr. Walsh’s team of playing a shell game; and a downtown resident purporting to represent a “silent majority” of citizens voiced full support for the project.


A clearly emotional Ms. Stevens-Rosa arose during a debate about building size and chastised project attorney Andy Hamilton, condemning his tactics as “sophistry” and arguing that his interests are not those of Bar Harbor.

“This is not a court of law. This is the town I live in, where I raise my kids,” Ms. Stevens-Rosa said while gathering her things and leaving.

Her outburst was a direct response to Mr. Hamilton, who, in arguing for a plain reading of the land use ordinance (LUO) accused “people who do not agree with the project” of trying to find language in the LUO that doesn’t exist.

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