Parking Plan Called Into Question

BAR HARBOR — Hotelier Tom Walsh’s plans to provide 88 parking spaces for his proposed 120-room hotel on West Street drew criticism from planning board members and a competing hotel owner during a meeting Aug. 5.


Mr. Walsh’s representatives defended the plan, stating that it meets the town’s requirement that hotels have at least one parking space per room through the use of “green space” parking credits. A total of 37 parking credits from “green spaces” around the hotel are proposed.

A total of 88 real, on-the-ground parking spaces are planned, almost all of them in a two-story parking deck to run the length of Rodick Street from York Street to the back of the Mayfair building near Cottage Street.

The land-use ordinance requires that hotels have at least one parking space per room. However, developments downtown can gain parking credits for providing certain amounts of “green space” containing trees or vegetative cover.

Hotelier David Witham, owner of the nearby Bar Harbor Inn and other lodging properties in town, maintains that most of the proposed parking credits don’t meet the standards set forth in the ordinance.

“They’re taking credit for 37 spaces. We think they’re due two spaces,” Mr. Witham’s attorney Ed Bearor said. “I don’t think it was intended that you could take an area that’s basically dead space in the middle of your land … and take credit for it.”

The public hearing on the West Street Hotel project is scheduled to continue on Wednesday, Aug. 19.

For more details, read the Mount Desert Islander on newsstands Wednesday afternoon.


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