There is a proposal before the Hancock Planning Board to ban the landing of passengers on any public or private pier wharf or dock from any ship, boat or watercraft carrying 50 or more passengers for hire with overnight accommodations.
One has to wonder: why in the world is this necessary? Who would want to land passengers at Hancock or Hancock Point and have to bus them 30 miles or more to Bar Harbor’s and the Park’s fabled tourist attractions?
However, if you were a cruise line and many towns up and down the coast were either limiting the number of passengers landing per day or banning landings altogether, and you couldn’t get a reservation to land your passengers at the #1 tourist spot on the eastern seaboard (#2 in the country), what would you do? You’d look to find a town that had no restrictions, you’d buy a piece of property, build a pier and bus them to the island or Schoodic. After all, before the bridge was built, Hancock had a railroad terminal and ferry service to the island.
Think about what the wear and tear of traffic would do to our roads. Think of the noise and congestion, of passengers who didn’t want to tour just walking around our public and private roads, peering into windows and gardens, getting lost. Think about the damage to fishing lines, the air, water, visual and auditory pollution from the large ship. Think about the loss of peace and quiet and privacy. Talk to Bar Harbor’s year-round and seasonal residents about how cruise tourism has disrupted their lives.
If this worries you, come to the Town of Hancock Planning Board public hearing re: Proposed Amendment to Environmental Control Ordinance Section 5.C.11. It is scheduled for Aug. 14, 2019 at 6:30 pm in the Hancock Town Hall.
Ann Michelson Hirschhorn