WINTER HARBOR

 

 

COMPREHENSIVE PLAN

 

 

UPDATE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

June 2004

 


INDEX FOR COMPREHENSIVE PLAN

 

TOWN OF WINTER HARBOR

 

This index indicates where the proposed plan addresses the requirements of the Comprehensive Planning and Land Use Regulation Act (30-A M.R.S.A. Section 4326).

 

REQUIREMENTS                                                                                                                 PAGE

1.         Inventory and Analysis Section

            A.        Population........................................................................................................ 1-5

B.         Economy......................................................................................................... 5-9

C.         Housing........................................................................................................ 10-17

D.        Public Facilities and Transportation...................................................... 18-21, 22-34

E.         Recreation.................................................................................................... 35-36

F.         Marine Resources (if applicable).................................................................... 37-38

G.         Water Resources.......................................................................................... 42-43

H.        Critical Natural Resources............................................................................. 39-42

I.          Agricultural and Forestry Resources................................................................... 42

J.          Historic and Archeological Resources............................................................ 44-45

K.        Land Use..................................................................................................... 49-55

L.         Fiscal Capacity............................................................................................. 46-48

M.        Summary of Findings..................................................................................... 56-58

 

2.         Policy Development Section

A.        Orderly Growth and Development.................................................................. 72-75

B.         Public Facilities............................................................................................. 63-67

C.         Economic Climate......................................................................................... 61-62

D.        Affordable Housing....................................................................................... 62-63

E.         Water Resources......................................................................................... 63, 72

F.         Critical Natural Resources................................................................................. 71

G.         Marine Resources (if applicable).................................................................... 67-70

H.        Agricultural and Forest Resources...................................................................... 72

I.          Historic and Archeological Resources............................................................ 70-71

J.          Outdoor Recreation........................................................................................... 70

K.        Coastal Policies (if applicable)....................................................................... 79-80

 

3.         Land Use Plan/Designation of Growth and Rural Areas....................................... 82-86

 

4.         Implementation Strategy Section

            A.        Affordable Housing....................................................................................... 62-63

B.         Public Services............................................................................................. 63-67

C.         Historic and Archeological Resources............................................................ 70-71

D.        Outdoor Recreation Opportunities....................................................................... 70

E.         Agricultural and Forestry Resources................................................................... 72

F.         Marine Resources (if applicable).................................................................... 67-70

G.         Water Resources......................................................................................... 63, 72

H.        Critical Natural Resources................................................................................. 71

I.          Zoning Strategy.................................................................................. 72-77, 82-86

J.          Capital Investment Strategy........................................................................... 80-81

 

5.         Regional Coordination Program................................................................................. 78

 


 
 
WINTER HARBOR
COMPREHENSIVE PLAN UPDATE
2004
 
 
Prepared by the Winter Harbor Comprehensive Planning Committee:
 

Peter Drinkwater, Chairman

                                                            Burt Allaire

                                                            Jeffrey Alley, Jr.

                                                            Bruce Mackay

                                                            Doug Monteith

                                                            Roger Barto, Town Manager

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

With technical assistance from the
Hancock County Planning Commission

 

 

 


TABLE OF CONTENTS

 

SECTION                                                                                                                               PAGE

 

INTRODUCTION............................................................................................................................ v

 

PART 1: INVENTORY AND ANALYSIS

A.        POPULATION

1.     Purpose......................................................................................................................... 1

2.     Key Findings and Issues................................................................................................. 1

3.     Trends Since 1990......................................................................................................... 1

4.     Projected Population...................................................................................................... 3

5.     Excerpts from the 1994 Plan.......................................................................................... 3

B.         ECONOMY

1.     Purpose......................................................................................................................... 5

2.     Key Findings and Issues................................................................................................. 5

3.     Trends Since 1990......................................................................................................... 5

4.     Current Economic Issues................................................................................................ 8

5.     Highlights from 1994 Plan............................................................................................... 8

C.        HOUSING

            1.     Purpose....................................................................................................................... 10

2.     Key Findings and Issues............................................................................................... 10

3.     Recent Trends.............................................................................................................. 10

4.     Affordable Housing...................................................................................................... 13

5.     Dwelling Unit Projections............................................................................................. 14

6.     Major Findings from the 1994 Plan............................................................................... 15

D.        TRANSPORTATION

1.     Purpose....................................................................................................................... 18

2.     Key Findings and Issues............................................................................................... 18

3.     Overview of Transportation Systems............................................................................ 18

4.     Major Transportation Issues......................................................................................... 21

5.     Likely Future Needs..................................................................................................... 21

E.         PUBLIC FACILITIES AND SERVICES

1.     Purpose....................................................................................................................... 22

2.     Key Findings and Issues............................................................................................... 22

3.     Water District.............................................................................................................. 22

4.     Education..................................................................................................................... 24

5.     Public Works............................................................................................................... 27

6.     Fire Department........................................................................................................... 27

7.     Sewer District.............................................................................................................. 30

8.     Municipal Buildings...................................................................................................... 31

9.     Police Department........................................................................................................ 32

10.   Solid Waste and Recycling........................................................................................... 33

F.         RECREATION

1.     Purpose....................................................................................................................... 35

2.     Key Findings and Issues............................................................................................... 35

3.     An Overview of Recreational Services and Facilities..................................................... 35

4.     Current Recreational Needs......................................................................................... 35

5.     Future Needs............................................................................................................... 36

G.        MARINE RESOURCES

1.     Purpose ...................................................................................................................... 37

2.     Key Findings and Issues............................................................................................... 37

3.     Summary of 1993 Plan................................................................................................. 37

4.     Current Conditions....................................................................................................... 37

H.        RESOURCE INVENTORY

1.     Purpose....................................................................................................................... 39

2.     Key Findings and Issues............................................................................................... 39

3.     An Overview of Natural Resources.............................................................................. 39

4.     Agricultural & Forest Resources................................................................................... 42

5.     Water Resources......................................................................................................... 43

6.     Current and Likely Future Threats................................................................................ 44

7.     Assessment of Current Protective Measures................................................................. 45

I.          HISTORICAL AND ARCHAEOLOGICAL RESOURCES

1.     Purpose....................................................................................................................... 46

2.     Key Findings and Issues............................................................................................... 46

3.     Major Sites and Features............................................................................................. 46

4.     Assessment of Existing Measures to Protect Historic and .................................................

             Archaeological Resources....................................................................................... 47

5.     Assessment of Threats.................................................................................................. 47

J.          FISCAL CAPACITY

1.     Purpose....................................................................................................................... 48

2.     Key Findings and Issues............................................................................................... 48

3.     Recent Fiscal Trends.................................................................................................... 48

4.     Current and Likely Future Fiscal Issues......................................................................... 50

K.        EXISTING LAND USE

1.     Purpose....................................................................................................................... 51

2.     Key Findings and Issues............................................................................................... 51

3.     Summary of 1993 Plan................................................................................................. 51

4.     Land Use Changes Since 1993..................................................................................... 52

5.     An Analysis of Current Conditions in the Downtown..................................................... 52

6.     A Review of Current Land Use Ordinances.................................................................. 55

7.     A Review of Options to Minimize Sprawl and Protect Natural Resources...................... 56

8.     Areas for Business Development.................................................................................. 57

L.         SUMMARY AND REGIONAL ISSUES

1.     Purpose....................................................................................................................... 58

2.     Primary Local Issues.................................................................................................... 58

3.     Inventory and Analysis Summary.................................................................................. 58

4.     Key Regional Issues..................................................................................................... 60

 


PART II.A: GOALS AND OBJECTIVES AND IMPLEMENTATION STRATEGIES

1.     Purpose....................................................................................................................... 63

2.     Overall Goal................................................................................................................ 63

3.     Population.................................................................................................................... 63

4.     Economic Development................................................................................................ 63

5.     Housing....................................................................................................................... 64

6.     Public Services and Facilities and Transportation........................................................... 65

7.     Marine Resources and Harbor Management................................................................. 69

8.     Recreation................................................................................................................... 72

9.     Historic and Archaeological Resources......................................................................... 73

10.   Natural Resources........................................................................................................ 73

11.   Water Resources......................................................................................................... 74

12.   Agricultural and Forest Resources................................................................................ 75

13.   Downtown Revitalization.............................................................................................. 76

14.   Preserving Rural Character and Minimizing Sprawl........................................................ 78

15.   Fiscal Capacity............................................................................................................ 80

16.   Regional Coordination Goal.......................................................................................... 81

17.   Consistency of Winter Harbor’s Policies with the State Goals and

             Coastal Policies....................................................................................................... 82

18.   Capital Investment Plan................................................................................................ 84

 

PART II.B: FUTURE LAND USE PLAN

1.     Introduction................................................................................................................. 86

2.     Land Needed for Future Development.......................................................................... 86

3.     A Future Development Scheme for Winter Harbor........................................................ 87

4.     Growth and Rural Areas............................................................................................... 90

5.     Measures to Distinguish Growth and Rural Areas.......................................................... 91

6.     Summary..................................................................................................................... 91

 

APPENDIX I: Summary of Land Use Ordinances.......................................................................... 92

 

APPENDIX II: Goals and Objectives for the Scenic Byways Study................................................ 95

 

TABLES:

A.1  Change in Age Breakdown, Year-round Population Winter Harbor 1990-2000.............. 2

A.2  Projected Population through 2015................................................................................. 3

A.3  History of Population Growth......................................................................................... 4

B.1  Class of Workers, Employed Persons 16 years and Over, 2000..................................... 6

B.2  Winter Harbor & Hancock County: Employment by Industry Sector, 2000..................... 7

B.3  Average Annual Unemployment Rate, 1999-2001.......................................................... 7

C.1  Change in Housing Units, Winter Harbor, 1990-2000................................................... 10

C.2  Change in Housing Types, Winter Harbor: 1990-2000.................................................. 11

C.3  Estimated Tenure of Occupied Year-round Housing 1990 & 2000................................ 12

C.4  Contract Rent of Renter-occupied Units, 2000............................................................. 12

C.5  Value of Specified Owner-occupied Housing Units, 2000............................................. 13

C.6  Projected Year-round Occupied Dwelling Units, Winter Harbor................................... 15

E.1  Summary of Water District Pipe Conditions.................................................................. 23

E.2  School Enrollment Trends, Winter Harbor Grammar School, 1986-2002...................... 25

E.3  School Enrollment Trends, Sumner Memorial High School, 1986-2001......................... 26

E.4  Fire Department Equipment Inventory........................................................................... 29

E.5  Fire Department Calls for Service................................................................................. 30

E.6  Summary of Sewer District Pipe Conditions.................................................................. 31

G.1  Characteristics of Birch Harbor Pond, Winter Harbor................................................... 43

J.1   Revenue Sources, 2002............................................................................................... 48

J.2   Total Expenditures....................................................................................................... 50

Summary of Policies Requiring Regional Coordination.......................................................... 81

Maine’s Growth Management Goals.................................................................................... 82

Maine’s Coastal Policies...................................................................................................... 83

Table II.1:  Summary of Anticipated Capital Expenditures, 2004-2010................................. 85

 

MAPS: Available on the HCPC Web site (www.hcpcme.org), on the CD Rom version of the plan and at the Winter Harbor town office.

Map 1: Critical Natural Resources

Map 2: New Development 1995-2002

Map 3: Soil Suitability for Development

Map 4: Winter Harbor Future Land Use Plan

Map 5: Existing Zoning

Map 6: Wetlands and Floodplains

 

 

 


 

 

 

INTRODUCTION

 

            The Winter Harbor comprehensive plan update is an advisory document.  It builds upon the 1994 comprehensive plan and replaces that document.  It reflects the desired future of the town.  Overall, it identifies current issues and opportunities that the town faces and discusses what is expected to happen within the next five to ten years.

 

            The plan consists of two major parts. The Inventory and Analysis discusses recent trends in town and projects what may happen in the future.  While it discusses some options for the town to consider, these are not recommendations.  Rather, this section is a reference document.   Readers are reminded that the town is constantly changing and that the information cited in this plan is current as of June 2003. The plan does not reflect any changes in town that occurred since that date.

 

            The second part is the Goals, Policies and Implementation Strategies.  This section sets specific recommendations for the future of the town.  The plan, however, is not valid until it is adopted at town meeting.  While the plan is the legal basis of any

changes to zoning and other land use ordinances, all such changes must be voted upon at a town meeting separate from the comprehensive plan vote.  Public hearings are required before any vote.

 

            The plan is intended to guide the select board, planning board, town manager and other town committees in their decisions and provide continuity in town policy.  It can also be used to help Winter Harbor seek funding from various state and federal grant programs.  Residents are reminded that planning is an on-going process.  This plan should be reviewed annually to see if its assumptions are still valid.  A more thorough review may be needed in five years.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PART I

 

Inventory and Analysis

 


A.  POPULATION

 

1.         Purpose

 

            Population is one of the most basic components of a comprehensive plan.  In order to understand Winter Harbor’s current and future needs, it is important to review population trends.  Winter Harbor faces particular challenges in view of the recent closure of the Navy Base and the impacts of various naval facility reuse scenarios.  This section aims to accomplish the following:

 

a.                   Review population trends since 1990;

 

b.                  Present alternative future population scenarios; and

 

c.                   Present the results of the 1994 comprehensive plan.

 

2.         Key Findings and Issues

 

            Winter Harbor is one of the few towns in Hancock County to lose population between 1990 and 2000, when it experienced a 15 percent decrease in its year-round population. This is due primarily to the Navy base closing.  Its 2000 population was 988, further population decreases have occurred since the complete closing of the base.   The estimated 2003 population is around 500. 

 

3.                  Trends Since 1990

 

While the population projections cited in the 1994 plan predicted that Winter Harbor would have a year-round population of 1,730 by 2001 (an increase of 573 over its 1990 population), the 2000 Census reported its population as 988.  This was an actual decrease of nearly 15 percent from the 1990 population (see Table A.1).  In 1990 the town had a household population of 1,036 and 121 persons living in group quarters.  In 2000, all 988 residents in town were living in households and none lived in group quarters.  This means the household population decreased by about 4.6 percent.  However, the Census data predate the full closing of the Navy Base, which has meant further reductions in population.  Local officials estimate the 2003 year-round population at 500.

 

As seen in Table A.1, the population of all age groups decreased except those in the 45-64 and 65 and over age categories.  Overall, the median age in town increased from 28.3 in 1990 to 31.3 in 2000.  This is considerably younger than the median age for Hancock County as a whole, which increased from 35.8 in 1990 to 40.7 in 2000.  The median age has most likely increased since the closing of the Navy facilities.


 

Table A.1

Change in Age Breakdown, Year-round Population Winter Harbor: 1990-2000

Age Group

1990

2000

Change

Percent Change

 

 

 

 

 

0-4

114

102

-12

-10.5%

5-171

216

212

-4

-1.9%

18-44

571

372

-199

-34.9%

45-64

142

182

40

28.2%

65 & over

114

120

6

5.3%

Total

1,157

988

-169

-14.6%

1 NOTE: Data for 1990 are for ages 5-17, data for 2000 are for ages 5-19

 

SOURCE:  U.S. Census

 

These trends are in sharp contrast to Hancock County as a whole, which experienced a 10 percent increase in its year-round population between 1990 and 2000.  Winter Harbor, along with Gouldsboro, Sorrento and some island communities, is among the handful of towns in the county that lost population.  As is discussed in the Housing and Land Use chapters, a decrease in population does not necessarily mean that the town isn’t growing.  Decreasing household sizes and second home building mean that the town has seen considerable development.

 

In 1990, the average number of persons per household in Winter Harbor was 2.84 compared to 2.46 in 2000.  During this same period, household sizes in Hancock County decreased from 2.48 to 2.31.   While household sizes in Winter Harbor have been above the county average, further decreases in household sizes are likely to have occurred since the closure of the Navy Base.  Smaller household sizes are significant since it means that more homes will be needed to serve the same number of people.

 

There have been changes in other population statistics as well.   In 1990 the town had a median household income of $19,712, which was 78 percent of the county income of $25,247.  By 2000, Winter Harbor’s median income had increased to $28,571, which was about 80 percent of the county income of $35,811.  The 1990 poverty rate in Winter Harbor was 9.1 percent compared to 10.0 percent for Hancock County.  In 2000, Winter Harbor had a poverty rate of 5.5 percent compared to 7.1 percent for the county.  While overall incomes remain below those of the county, the poverty rate in town has dropped significantly.  Here again, these data predate the closing of the naval facilities.

 

There has been a minor increase in educational attainment.  In 1990, 90.8 percent of Winter Harbor residents aged 25 and older had a high school education and 10.8 percent had a bachelor’s degree.  By 2000, 93.7 percent had a high school degree and 12.3 percent had a bachelor’s degree.  By comparison, Hancock County in 2000 had an 87.8 percent high school education rate and a much higher 27.1 percent Bachelor’s degree rate.


 

4.                  Projected Population

 

There is no reliable way to project population for a small town such as Winter Harbor.   The State Planning Office has developed projections for all towns in the state through 2015.  The figures for Hancock County, Gouldsboro and Winter Harbor are shown on Table A.2.  As seen, Hancock County as a whole has considerable growth potential.  This is consistent with recent trends of a high in-migration rate.  The population data for Winter Harbor show further decline before there is some recovery.

 

Table A.2

Projected Population through 20151

Unit of Government

 

2005

 

2010

 

2015

Winter Harbor

940

916

924

Gouldsboro

1,972

2,023

2,087

Hancock County

54,371

56,635

58,741

1 NOTE: refer to text for discussion of limitations of data and alternate projections

 

SOURCE: State Planning Office web site

 

These projections, however, should be considered conservative for Winter Harbor and Gouldsboro.  If the towns undertake a comprehensive economic diversification program, they could grow at a much faster rate.  This is especially likely  if Winter Harbor finds alternative uses for the former Navy housing.  The town could thus possibly face a 10 percent growth rate between 2000 and 2015 and have a year-round population closer to 1,100 by 2015.

 

5.                  Excerpts from the 1994 Plan

 

a.         Historical Review

 

The town of Winter Harbor contains the major part of the Schoodic Peninsula, all of the smaller peninsula of Grindstone Neck and several islands (practically all uninhabited except for a few summer residents). Most of the Winter Harbor residents of Schoodic Peninsula are personnel attached to the U.S. Navy Base located on the peninsula. There is also a Navy housing district close to downtown Winter Harbor. The Grindstone Neck peninsula has only a few year-round residents; most of the houses are summer residences. There are a few other summer residences scattered around the town along the west side of the Schoodic peninsula and the eastern side of Frenchman Bay. Winter Harbor was formerly a part of the Town of Gouldsboro, but in 1895 it was incorporated as the Town of Winter Harbor by the Maine Legislature. In 1928 the Schoodic peninsula became part of Acadia National Park. The U.S. Navy subsequently established a communication facility on the Schoodic Peninsula where it exists today. Early statistics show the following population growth pattern: 1850 - 311, 1880 - 400, 1900 - 571, 1910 - 590. The permanent 1980 census resident population for Winter Harbor was 1120, including Navy personnel. The 1990 census was 1157 for a 10-year increase of 3.3%. The Hancock County 1980 census was 41,781, and for 1990 it was 46,948, an increase of 12,4%. The 1990 census included 754 Navy personnel. The seasonal population varies with the month, peaking between July 4 and Labor Day at approximately 180. An historical review of population growth is found in Table A.3.

 

b.         Current Situation

 

            The section of Winter Harbor known as Grindstone Neck is generally considered to be that part of the Grindstone peninsula extending southward from the golf course. Most of the houses are for summer use only, although there are 1 or 2 occupied year round. There are a few other summer homes notably on Sargent's Point, Deep Cove, the "Gray Road" and the north end of Summer Harbor Road. There are some year round residences on the Summer Harbor Road, along Newman Street, and on the Birch Harbor Road, but except for the Navy Base most of the population lives close to the center of the town.

 

Table A.3:  History of Population Growth

The following tabulation shows U.S. Census population for Hancock County and Winter Harbor

 

HANCOCK COUNTY

WINTER HARBOR

 

Year

 

Population

% Growth

Per 10-Yr

 

Population

% Growth

Per 10-Yr.

1850

311

 

 

 

1860

37,379

 

 

 

1870

36,360

(-2.7)

 

 

1880

37,975

4.4

400

8.8

1890

37,016

(-2.5)

 

 

1900

37,039

0.0

571

19.5

1910

35,515

(-4.1)

590

3.3

1920

30,457

(-14.2)

503

(-14.7)

1930

30,760

1.0

517

2.8

1940

32,388

5.3

518

0.0

1950

32,083

(-1.0)

568

9.7

1960

30,812

(-4.0)

756

33.1

1970

34,505

12.0

1028

36.0

1980

41,781

21.1

1120

8.9

 


B.  ECONOMY

 

1.      Purpose

 

An understanding of the economy is important in planning for the future of a town.  This is especially the case for Winter Harbor, which has undergone a dramatic shift with the closing of the Navy Base.  This section aims to accomplish the following:

 

a.       Summarize economic trends since the early 1990s;

 

b.      Identify current economic issues; and

 

c.       Present the findings of the 1994 comprehensive plan

 

2.      Key Findings and Issues

 

            The closing of the Navy base has changed the economic base of the town.  The full impact of these changes on the economy is just beginning to be registered in government statistics.  However, the reuse of the main naval facility as an environmental research center, the marketing of the naval housing and the general growth of the Hancock County economy, mean that the employment situation for residents is likely to improve.

 

3.      Trends Since 1990

 

            While the town lost population between 1990 and 2000, its civilian labor force actually increased from 288 to 419 (see Table B.1).  Apart from a slight increase in self-employment, the proportions among the employment categories were largely unchanged.  Given the new restrictions on fishing, it is likely that the many of the self-employed ran small businesses or were independent contractors.   It should be noted that Winter Harbor has a higher rate of self-employment than does Hancock County as whole.  This is reflective of the highly entrepreneurial nature of the Winter Harbor labor force.


 

Table B.1

Class of Workers, Employed Persons 16 Years and Over, 2000

 

Winter Harbor

Hancock County

 

Number

Percent

Number

Percent

Private Wage/Salary

249

59.4%

17,470

69.8%

Fed/State/Local Gov’t

95

22.7%

3,511

14.0%

Self-employed

75

17.9%

3,975

15.9%

Unpaid Family Member

0

0.0%

78

0.3%

Total

419

100.0%

25,034

100.0%

SOURCEU.S. Census, 2000, Table DP-3

 

Class of Workers, Employed Persons 16 Years and Over, 1990

 

Winter Harbor

Hancock County

 

Number

Percent

Number

Percent

Private Wage/Salary

175

60.8%

14,604

58.3%

Fed/State/Local Gov’t

62

21.5%

2,998

12.0%

Self-Employed

37

12.8%

3,325

13.3%

Unpaid Family Member

14

4.9%

73

0.3%

Total

288

100.0%

21,000

83.9%

SOURCE: U.S. Census, CPH-L-83, Table 2

 

Table B.2 compares employment by industry sector for Winter Harbor and Hancock County.   There is a significantly higher proportion of persons employed in agriculture, forestry and fisheries than in the county as a whole.  This is indicative of the importance of fishing to the local economy.   There is a smaller proportion of persons employed in professional, scientific and related professions.  The town is more remote (by road) than some parts of Hancock County from Jackson Lab and other major scientific employers.  


 


Table B.2

Winter Harbor & Hancock County:  Employment by Industry Sector, 2000

 

Winter Harbor

Hancock County

Category

Numbers

Percent

Numbers

Percent

Agriculture, Forestry, & Fisheries

38

9.1%

1,315

5.3

 

Construction

47

11.2%

2,524

10.1

 

Manufacturing

50

11.9%

2,369

9.5

 

Wholesale trade

13

3.1%

575

2.3

 

Retail trade

54

12.9%

3,057

12.2

 

Transportation, warehousing and utilities

 

12

 

2.9%

 

883

 

3.5

 

Information

7

1.7%

644

2.6

 

Finance, Insurance & Real Estate

2

0.5%

1,191

4.8

 

Professional, scientific, management, administrative and waste management services

 

11

 

2.6%

 

2,005

 

8.0

 

Educational, health and social services

74

17.7%

5,544

22.1

 

Arts, entertainment, recreation, accommodation and food services

 

34

 

8.1%

 

2,252

 

9.0

 

Other services (except public administration)

 

31

 

7.4%

 

1,672

 

6.7

 

Public Administration

46

11.0%

1,003

4.0%

 

Total

419

100%

25,034

100.0%

 

Source:  2000 U.S. Census: Table DP.3

 

 

 

Unemployment rates are shown in Table B.3.  As seen, Winter Harbor has had an unemployment rate somewhat higher than the adjoining town of Gouldsboro and Hancock County as a whole.   Here again, these figures do not reflect the full impact of the naval facility closing.

 

 

Table B.3

Average Annual Unemployment Rate, 1999-2001

Unit of Government

1999

2000

2001

Winter Harbor

4.0

5.0

6.0

Gouldsboro

6.5

2.8

3.3

Hancock County

5.3

4.4

4.5

SOURCE: Maine Department of Labor Maine Civilian Labor Force Estimates  

 

 

4.      Current Economic Issues

 

Any economic development strategy needs to focus on a town’s strengths.  One key asset for Winter Harbor is the willingness of many residents to be self-employed.    This means that small business assistance strategies are an important economic development strategy.  The town also needs to work with area economic development specialists to determine what spin off businesses could capitalize on the Schoodic Education and Research Center (SERC).

 

As mentioned in the 1994 plan, Winter Harbor has little land for industrial development.  However, it adjoins the town of Gouldsboro that has vacant land along Route 1.  Given the increased traffic congestion in the Ellsworth-MDI area, more businesses may be interested in locations further Downeast.  Thus, Winter Harbor might want to work jointly with Gouldsboro in developing an industrial park in that town.

 

5.      Highlights from 1994 Plan

 

a.                  Historical Review

 

Historically, Winter Harbor has been a fishing industry town, with other supporting business such as restaurants, food store, general merchandise store, and gas station. Over the past 25 to 30 years the town has had a continuing increase in the number of retired people. These consist of Navy retirees who were once stationed in Winter Harbor, native people who have always lived in Winter Harbor, and others that have visited our area and have decided to retire here where life is simpler and slower, Our public opinion survey revealed that most retirees are here because of the quality of life in Winter Harbor.

 

There is little industry in Winter Harbor so the opportunity for employment is slim unless you are self-employed. That is one reason the average age of residents has grown older; the young people that grow up in this town cannot stay in the area due to the lack of employment opportunities. The Navy base is the largest part of our economy, with payroll of over 9 million dollars per year.

 

The current Winter Harbor labor force (1988) as determined by the Maine Department of Labor was 399, with 383 employed and 16 unemployed. That gives us an unemployment rate of 4.01. The Hancock County average rate is 4.50. The labor force figure doesn't include any of the federal employment in Winter Harbor.  Due to the fact that we are a small town and not listed in the “Maine Employment Earnings Statistical Handbook,” we can only use the average income by occupation for Hancock County. The averages are as follows:

 


Occupation                                                              Average Weekly $

 

Fishing/Forestry                                                         176.90

Construction                                                              314.30

Retail Trade                                                               206.46

Finance/Insurance-Real Estate                                   363.52

Services                                                                    277.29

Manufacturing                                                            480.23

Wholesale Trade                                                       323.95

 

b.                  Major Employers

 

The major employer in Winter Harbor is the U.S. Government with 148 full and part-time civilian and 350 military personnel. Seventeen of the civilian employees live in Winter Harbor with the remaining coming from surrounding communities. The civilian payroll is $2.7 million and the military is $6.6 million for a total of $9.3 million.

 

c.         Strengths & Weaknesses

 

            The Navy Base, with its large payroll, contributes substantially to the local economy. Due to the nature of the services that the base supplies, the base appears to be secure against closure. The fishermen in the area are dependent on the amount of lobsters that they can haul, the abundance of the resource, and the fluctuation in market price, which at this time is less per pound than 20 years ago.

 

The number of full-time lobstermen is down, largely due to economic factors in the industry. Winter Harbor will have little success in attracting industry since there are few adequate sites, we are too remote, and we have no significant labor force.

 


C. HOUSING

 

1.                  Purpose

 

It is important for a comprehensive plan to have an analysis of the housing market and local and regional housing needs.  This section aims to:

 

a.         review housing trends since 1990;

 

b.         discuss housing affordability; and

 

c.         present the findings of the 1994 plan.

 

2.                  Key Findings and Issues

 

Winter Harbor has a much higher proportion of rental units than does Hancock County as whole.   Since the closure of the naval facilities, many units formerly rented to Navy personnel are now rented to other tenants.  However, the total number of homes in town increased from 515 to 558 between 1990 and 2000.  While housing purchase prices are below the county median, incomes are also lower.  The median household income is insufficient to purchase the median priced house.

 

3.                  Recent Trends

 

Even though the town lost year-round population between 1990 and 2000, its total housing stock (year-round and seasonal) increased by about 8 percent (see C.1).  This is indicative of the high demand for housing throughout Hancock County.   This trend is likely to continue as Hancock County continues to attract new residents.

 

Table C.1

Change in Housing Units, Winter Harbor, 1990-2000

Type

1990

2000

Percent Change

Year-round

399

425

6.5%

Seasonal

116

133

14.6%

Total

515

558

8.3%

SOURCE:  U.S. Census

 

Table C.2 shows the breakdown between various year-round housing types.   While there was a 27 percent increase in the number of single-family homes, there was, according to the U.S. Census, a nearly 45 percent decrease in the number of duplexes and multifamily homes.  This may be due to error in Census reporting procedures.  The number of mobile homes increased by 47 percent.   If the discussed demolition of some of the former Navy multi-family units is undertaken, there will likely be further decreases in the number of multi-family units.   According to the 2000 Census, no one in town was housed in group quarters (such as barracks).  In the past, the Navy had some population in barracks.

 

Table C.2

Change in Housing Types, Winter Harbor: 1990–2000

 

1990

2000

 

 

Type

 

Number

Percent of Total

 

Number

Percent of Total

Percent Change

Single family

334

64.9%

424

76.1%

26.9%

Duplex/

Multi-family

145

28.2%

80

14.4%

-44.8%

Mobile Homes

36

7.0%

53

9.5%

47.2%

Total

515

100.0%

557

100.0%

8.2%

SOURCEU.S. Census

 

The breakdown between rental and owner occupied year-round housing is shown in Table C.3.    As of 2000, about half of the housing stock was renter occupied.  This is a far greater proportion of rental units than Hancock County as a whole.  This is reflective of the impact of the Navy population on the town’s housing market.   Since the base closure, these rental units have attracted many tenants from elsewhere in Hancock County.   The former Navy duplex units were purchased by a private entrepreneur and are being sold on the open market with no restrictions on the terms of the sale by the town.   The 20 single-family units had an asking price of $100,000 and were all under contract and sold as of March 2004.  The 14 duplexes had an asking price of $145,000 and there was also a 32-unit apartment complex with an asking price of $1.8 million.   These units mean that there are far more rental opportunities for moderate income households than in many Hancock County towns.

 

These units contribute to the supply of moderate cost housing in Winter Harbor.  By contrast, the Maine State Housing Authority listed the 2003 median sales price for adjoining towns were considerably higher (Gouldsboro $232,000, Sullivan $122,000, Hancock $131,000 and Ellsworth $134,000).  Purchase opportunities in Winter Harbor are thus better than in many Hancock County towns.  These relatively low prices mean that Winter Harbor presently offers adequate home purchase opportunities for moderate income households.


 

 Table C.3

 Estimated Tenure of Occupied Year-Round Housing

 (does not include seasonal and vacant units) 1990 & 2000

 Winter Harbor & Hancock County

 

1990

2000

1990-2000

 

T

O

W

N

 

 

Number

Percent of Total

 

Number

Percent of Total

Percent Change

 

Renter-Occupied

196

53.7%

202

50.2%

3.0%

 

Owner-Occupied

169

46.3%

200

49.8%

15.5%

 

 

Total Occupied Units

365

100.0%

402

100.0%

9.2%

 

C

O

U

N

T

Y

Renter-Occupied

    4,466

  24.3%

     5,314

   24.3%

       16.0%

 

Owner-Occupied

  13,876

  75.7%

   16,550

   75.7%

       16.2%

 

Total Occupied Units

  18,342

100.0%

   21,864

100.0%

       16.1%

 

SOURCE: U.S. Census 1990 CPH-1-21, Tables 10+11, 2000, initial print-outs

 

 

The breakdown of contract rents is shown in Table C.4.   As of 2000, the median monthly rent in Winter Harbor was $525, which was slightly higher than $514 for Hancock County as a whole.  This again was probably reflective of the high demand created by Navy personnel.   Rents, however, have been increasing throughout Hancock County. The average rent in Hancock County for a two-bedroom apartment (including utilities) in 2002 was $686 compared to $559 in 2001.            Comparable data are not available for Winter Harbor.

 



 Table C.4

 Contract Rent of Renter-Occupied Units

 Winter Harbor and Hancock County: 2000

 

Winter Harbor

Hancock County

Monthly Rent

Number

Percent

Number

Percent

Less than $200

4

2.3%

412

8.2%

$200 to $299

9

5.1%

320

6.4%

$300 to $499

41

23.2%

1286

25.7%

$500 to $749

36

20.3%

1753

35.1%

$750 to $999

21

11.9%

447

8.9%

$1,000 to $1,499

3

1.7%

101

2.0%

No cash rent

63

35.6%

676

13.5%

Total

177

100.0%

4,998

100.0%

Median Rent

$525

-----

$514

-----

SOURCE:  U.S. Census 2000, DPH-4

 

Table C.5 compares the value of owner-occupied homes between Winter Harbor and Hancock County.  The median value in Winter Harbor was $84,700 in 2000 compared to $108,600 for Hancock County.  Prices are thus well below the county-median.  It should be noted that these data are for year-round homes and do not reflect the values of second homes, including those in prime waterfront locations.

 

Table C.5

Value of Specified Owner-Occupied Housing Units, 2000

 

Winter Harbor

Hancock County

Value

Number

Percent

Number

Percent

Less than    $50,000

20

13.5%

685

6.4%

$50,000 to   $99,999

80

54.1%

4,118

38.2%

$100,000 to  $149,999

32

21.6%

2,785

25.8%

$150,000 to $199,999

5

3.4%

1,383

12.8%

$200,000 to $299,999

9

61.1%

1,030

9.6%

$300,000 or more

2

1.4%

510

4.7%

Total

148

100.0%

10,779

100.0%

Median Value

$84,700

--

$108,600

--

 

Source: 2000 Census, Table DP-4

 

 

4.         Affordable Housing

 

            Under the state’s comprehensive planning process, towns must assess their affordable housing needs.  Winter Harbor presents a particularly complex situation.  The recent closure of the Navy base means that as of 2003 there are many vacant rental units.  There are also, according to the Maine State Housing Authority data, two subsidized units for lower income families and eighteen for seniors.  The main rental housing challenge is to find tenants rather than encouraging the creation of new units.

 

            According to the Maine State Housing Authority, the median sales price of a home in Winter Harbor decreased from $88,700 in 2000 to $77,000 in 2001 and increased to $83,000 in 2002.  These figures were based on sales records for five to seven units a year.   A household with the estimated 2002 median income of $24,939 could afford no more than a $70,823 house. Median incomes are insufficient to purchase the median-priced house.   While there may be sufficient (and perhaps even a surplus of) rental opportunities in Winter Harbor, first-time homebuyers have more limited opportunities.

 

A related housing issue is overall condition.  While no studies have been done, it appears that many of the older homes and apartments in town are in poor condition.  The town may want to conduct a housing condition survey and seek matching state and federal grant funds to bring homes up to standard.

 

5.         Dwelling Unit Projections.

 

            It is possible to estimate the number of year-round homes that will be built by dividing the projected population by the projected household size.   The Population chapter presented a range of population projections.  Due to the aging of the population, the average household size is assumed to 2.31 by 2015, which is lower than that for 2000.  Projections are shown under both a slow and fast growth scenario (see Table C.6).   As with all projections, these numbers need to be revisited periodically to assure that they are consistent with recent growth trends.

 

            These projections show that under the slow growth scenario there is virtually no change in the number of year-round occupied units.  Under the fast growth scenario, the total number of units will increase to 476 (from 402 in 2000), a rate of 18 percent.  These data do not reflect the number of temporarily vacant dwellings and second homes. 

 

While there is no reliable way to estimate the number of second homes that will be built, the number increased between 1990 and 2000 at a faster rate than year-round homes.  A liberal estimate would be for the town to experience a 20 percent increase in the number of second homes.  This would mean that the number of second homes would increase from 133 in 2000 to 160 by 2015.


 

 


Table C.6

Projected Year-Round Occupied Dwelling Units, Winter Harbor

 

 

Scenario I: Slow Growth

2000*

2015

 

 

Projected Population Residing in Households

988

924

 

Projected Household Size

2.46

2.31

Projected Occupied Dwelling Units

402

400

 

Scenario II: Fast Growth

 

Projected Population Residing in Households

---

1,100

 

Projected Household Size

---

2.31

 

Projected Occupied Dwelling Units

---

476

 

*Note: 2000 figures are actual numbers from the U.S. Census.

Source:  Analysis by the Hancock County Planning Commission

 

 

6.         Major Findings from the 1994 Plan

 

a.         Historical Review

 

Land in the area of Winter Harbor owned by Thomas Frazer and John Lane was acquired by William Shaw in the early 1790's. William Bingham bought this land in 1796, later to sell parts of it and thereby becoming the first subdivider in Winter Harbor.

 

The Town has not changed appreciably in general layout over the years. Historical records show a significant number of large boat houses crowding the shore front in the center of town. There were other major buildings (hotels and supply businesses) also in the center town area. These buildings were eventually torn down or destroyed by fires or storms.

 

The following tabulation shows the number of housing units based on U.S. Census data for Hancock County and Winter Harbor in 1980, and new units added each year through 1987, and the gain in housing units (Bureau of Taxation information):


 

 

HANCOCK COUNTY

WINTER HARBOR

 

YEAR

 

BUILT

BURNED/ DESTROYED

NET

GAIN

 

BUILT

BURNED/ DESTROYED

NET

GAIN

1981

295

33

263

1

0

1

1982

249

21

228

4

2

2

1983

248

53

195

7

2

5

1984

306

22

284

9

0

9

1985

323

28

295

8

0

8

1986

369

30

339

9

0

9

1987

438

32

406

4

0

4

1988

468

28

440

4

10

-6

Total

2,696

247

2,449

46

14

32

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1988 est.

 

 

 

5

0

5

1990 est.

 

 

 

7

0

7

Total

 

 

 

58

14

44

 

Since the Navy had no change in the number of living units since 1980, it is apparent that the above data is applied to the civilian segment of Winter Harbor only.

 

The following tabulation shows the results of the 1980 census and tabulates the type of structure (single, duplex, multi or mobile), and whether the unit was owner or renter occupied:

 

OWNER – 1980 CENSUS

 

HANCOCK COUNTY

WINTER HARBOR

Total

11,597

191

Single

9,973

165

Duplex

283

2

Multi

204

0

Mobile

1,137

24

 

 

 

RENTER – 1980 CENSUS

Total

3,357

159

Single

1,583

43

Duplex

428

38

Multi

1,077

68

Mobile

269

10

Total Own and Rent

 

14,954

 

350

 

A November 1990 physical count of residences (units) in use, but not necessarily occupied at the time, showed a total of 379 which included an estimate of 50 multi units. This compares fairly closely to the 350 units shown by the 1980 census plus the net gain of 44 units from 1981 through 1990 for a total of 394 units.

 

However, the physical count of 379 civilian units plus the 154 Navy units totals 533 units. The 1990 Decennial Census shows 515 total housing units and 150 vacant housing units which would indicate a net of 365 occupied housing units. There are approximately 65 houses, mostly on Grindstone Neck, that are seasonally occupied and the owners are not residents of Winter Harbor.

 

Large tracts of land in Winter Harbor are being held by a few landowners and with little exception none is being offered for sale at the present time. The following tabulation shows building permits issued for new houses for the past 5 years. These permits do not include permits for additions, alterations, driveways, septic systems, garages, barns, etc., just for new homes:

 

Housing Permits by Year:  1986-1  1987-2  1988-5  1989-7  1990-1

 

The data may not correspond to other data on net gain in housing in this report because although a building permit may have been issued in one year, the house may not have been completed until a subsequent year.      Since the Navy had no change in the number of living units since 1980, it is apparent that the above data is applied to the civilian segment of Winter Harbor only. The U.S. Navy has housing for Navy personnel in or close to downtown Winter Harbor and on the Schoodic Peninsula. There are 82 units of housing, two-story wooden frame structures on 23 acres, in three subdivisions: Capehart (Harbor Heights) 20 three bedroom houses, Old Fund (Ocean Heights) (across from Chases Restaurant) 30 three bedroom houses, and New Fund (behind IGA) 16 three bedroom and 16 two bedroom apartments. Capehart was completed in 1959, Old Fund in 1962, and New Fund in 1971. The Navy Public Works Department rates Capehart in excellent condition, Coastal Heights excellent, and New Fund excellent. The Navy places a real estate value of Winter Harbor Housing (land and buildings) at $6,384,083.

 

            Major renovations to all units were completed in 1991-1994, with major emphasis on Coastal Heights and New Fund. Repairs will include new roofs, siding, windows, doors, and heating systems. Capehart repairs will be primarily updating kitchens and bathrooms.

 

            Schoodic Housing was completed in 1980, and is in excellent condition. There are 32 units consisting of 24 two bedrooms and 8 four bedrooms. Building 1 consists of three 1 bedrooms, seven 2 bedrooms and one 4 bedroom built in 1935. This building is scheduled for major repairs beginning in 1990. The Navy places a real estate value of Schoodic Housing and Building 1 at $7,783,000.

 


D.        TRANSPORTATION

 

1.                  Purpose

 

A town’s transportation system is critical in determining how it will grow.  Development generally locates along roads.  Poorly planned development in turn may create traffic problems that require road improvements.  This section addresses the following:

 

a.         an overview of Winter Harbor’s transportation systems;

 

b.         present transportation needs; and

 

c.         likely future needs.

 

2.                  Key Findings and Issues

 

Winter Harbor’s transportation system is generally in good condition.  There are, however, major problems with the downtown sidewalks and parking at times of peak use.  The Route 186 Scenic Byway designation should lead to further improvements along this road. Year-round ferry service to MDI would help enhance the reuse of the Navy housing.

 

3.                  Overview of Transportation Systems

 

Most of the Winter Harbor roads are in the historic right of way. Route 186 on outer Newman St. has been straightened and improved. Ferry service to Bar Harbor was available until the early 20th century. This service was resumed in the early 21st century. The remnants of early carriage trails can still be found in the area. The shipping industry was a major component of our early economy and Winter Harbor takes its name from accessible winter anchorage.

 

a.         Roads

 

The Maine Department of Transportation provides road assistance on 15 miles of roads in the winter and 10 miles in the summer. There are 4 major private roads in town, all of which are dirt/gravel. One is located on Sargent Point, one is Deep Cove Road, one is Bay Lane located on Grindstone Point (used only in the summer), and one that is known as "The Avenue" located off Main St. (only 4-wheel drive vehicles can use the road). Federal roads include 7.5 miles in the Schoodic section of Acadia National Park, .43 miles in the in-town former Navy housing developments, and 2.7 miles on the former Navy base at Schoodic Point. Most town roads are in good condition and have been recently resurfaced. Also, at this time, maintenance on all other roads is adequate.   Winter Harbor has ordinances that require developers to build their own roads, and they must meet certain specifications to conform to other town roads. At this time our growth areas do not need new roads for access.

 

The primary road access to Winter Harbor is via Route 186.  A bike lane is scheduled to be added to Route 186 in the summer of 2005.  Further improvements to this road are included in the current MDOT six-year plan.  Overall, the value of Route 186 has been enhanced through the Scenic Byway designation, which will help efforts to promote tourism in the area.

The proposal for a Schoodic Scenic Byway was developed during the 1990s by a grass roots coalition from Winter Harbor, Gouldsboro and Sullivan.  After being deemed eligible in 1999, a corridor management plan was written and adopted by all three towns at town meetings.  In 2000 national designation was received and a byway corridor management committee was formed.  This committee, working with the Hancock County Planning Commission has written a series of grant proposals, earning over $500,000 in support for projects including improvements for scenic turnouts, public rest areas, gateway monuments, technical support for shoulder paving and promotion of local economic development.

 

The Corridor Management Plan states four major goals:

 

1: Maintain and enhance the scenic and historical value of the scenic byway

2: Provide safe traveling lanes for Pedestrians, Bicycles and Motor vehicles

3: Foster participation and community support for the scenic byway

4: Promote education on the need for resource protection and preservation

 

These goals and a series of more detailed objectives and strategies, having been adopted by all three towns, guide efforts of the corridor management committee.  In order to sustain the Schoodic National Scenic Byway the town is asked to remain active on the Corridor Management Committee, identifying local needs and promoting local goals (the goals and objectives for the byway study are attached in Appendix II)

 

b.         Parking Facilities

 

Public parking is limited in Winter Harbor. The two largest areas are the Town Dock, with 25 sites, and the Town Office/School lot. Other businesses have semi-private spaces, but most parking is on the street. There are 25,000 square-yards of parking at the Schoodic campus base and 6,500 square-yards at other former Navy facilities. However, these areas are restricted in their usage and may not be available to the general public. This will depend on the final reuse plan for all former Navy facilities.  The National Park Service provides parking areas along the length of the loop road and at the summit of Schoodic Head, (reached by a gravel road). The three largest areas are Frazier Point (26 sites), Schoodic Point (50 sites), and Blueberry Hill (10 sites).

 

Although limited parking is generally adequate for most of the year, there is a shortage of easily accessible spaces in the summer.  The annual Lobster Festival particularly stresses the parking situation. Private lands are usually made available for this one-day event. Perhaps the town dock is the one area that could use additional parking sites year-round, particularly during the summer and fall fishing season.  This issue is also addressed in the Existing Land Use chapter.   Parking is an issue that would need to be addressed in any downtown revitalization project.

 

c.         Bridges

 

There are two bridges in Winter Harbor; one over Mill Stream is 21 feet long and is state owned and maintained. The second is located on the Park Road at the entrance to Acadia National Park. It is 48 feet long, and is federally owned and maintained. This bridge was rebuilt in the spring of 1991 by the Park Service.

 

d.         Rail Lines

 

The closest rail line is in Ellsworth. It formerly provided service between Brewer and Calais, but at this time the line is abandoned.   The line is now owned by the state and various proposals are being considered for its reuse.  Given the condition of the tracks, any restoration of service will be a very costly venture.

 

e.         Motor Express

 

United Parcel Service (UPS) runs Monday-Friday, with an in town pick-up spot at the 5&10. Federal Express runs Monday-Friday as required. Most of the large national moving concerns deliver and pick-up in Winter Harbor.

 

f.          Airlines

 

The Hancock County Airport is in Trenton, 30 miles from Winter Harbor. It is serviced by various public airlines and rental agencies. Service is limited in the winter months with approximately four flights per day to Boston. More flights are available in the summer months to meet the needs of tourists and commuting summer visitors. This is also the nearest airport for private aircraft. The Bangor International Airport, which is 50 miles from Winter Harbor, is a full-service airport with 4 airlines, providing access to all parts of the world. There is also a helicopter pad located at the former Schoodic Navy Base.

 

g.         Port Facilities

 

            There are no facilities in Winter Harbor for large ships to dock. We do have a town dock that is used by the local fishermen and private pleasure boats. There is also a full service marina located in Henry Cove with launch ramps and hoists. In Sand Cove there are seasonal moorings operated by the Winter Harbor Yacht Club which are used primarily by sailboats in the summer. More information on Port Facilities can be found in the Marine Resources section of the plan.

 

h.         Pedestrian Ways

 

Hiking trails are available in the Schoodic section of Acadia National Park that vary in difficulty, with most being easy to moderate. Around Grindstone Point there are old fire roads that are used for walking and off-road biking.   As mentioned in the Land Use section, the sidewalks in the downtown area are in very poor condition.

 

i.          Bus Service

 

We have a very limited bus service in Winter Harbor. Downeast Transportation, an Ellsworth concern, has small buses that stop at 4 places in town. Every Thursday the bus runs from Winter Harbor to Ellsworth in the morning and returns to Winter Harbor in the afternoon. The nearest Greyhound service is in Ellsworth (only from June to September); the nearest terminal is in Bangor. There is also a small bus company located in Calais that runs from Calais to Bangor daily, and stops at Young’s Store, which is located on Route 1 in Gouldsboro 8 miles from Winter Harbor. Winter Harbor could use a reliable bus service providing more frequent stops. Taxi service is available but not convenient.

 

As of 2003, expanded bus service is contemplated to connect the former Navy housing with the ferry service.  Another option is direct bus service to Mount Desert Island.  Efforts are underway to provide a summer bus service for the Schoodic portion of Acadia National Park that would be similar to the Island Explorer service on MDI.

 

4.         Major Transportation Issues

 

As mentioned above, parking is one major transportation issue.  Another is the need to address ferry transportation needs.  The Schoodic-MDI ferry is important if the naval housing in Winter Harbor is to attract employees who commute to jobs on Mount Desert Island.  Continued implementation of the Route 186 byway is another important need. 

 

The town also faces some traffic hazards that need to be addressed.  These include the hazardous conditions of the sidewalks in the Main Street area.  Overall, the town is facing increased traffic congestion during the summer months.

 

Year-round ferry service between Winter Harbor and Mount Desert Island could help attract more people to the former Navy housing.  The service would reduce the commuting time to the island.  This is an issue the town needs to explore with private sector transportation providers, the Maine Department of Transportation and major employers on Mount Desert Island.

 

5.         Likely Future Needs

 

            Even if the town experiences a relatively low rate of year-round population growth, it is likely to experience more traffic on its roads.  The increased traffic congestion elsewhere in coastal Hancock County means that more people are likely to visit the Schoodic area.  This means that long term planning for bus service, bicycle facilities and other measures that give people an alternative to travel by car are needed.  The town may also want to explore development of park and ride lots, as more commuting by residents to areas such as Ellsworth is likely now that there are fewer jobs in town due to the Navy base closing.

 

            It is also important to manage land development along Route 186.  Intensive development could mean more vehicles exiting and entering the highway.  This problem can be mitigated by measures that require greater distance between curb cuts, use of shared access roads and limiting the areas where commercial development is allowed.

 


 

E.  PUBLIC FACILITIES AND SERVICES

 

1.         Purpose

 

An understanding of current and likely future public facilities needs is essential in assessing new expenditures that a town could face in the future.  This section aims to:

 

a.                   assess major changes in Winter Harbor’s services and facilities since the last comprehensive plan was prepared;

 

b.                  review current conditions and likely future needs; and

 

c.                   determine the feasibility of sharing additional services with the town of Gouldsboro.

 

2.         Key Findings and Issues

 

Winter Harbor faces several challenges with its public facilities and services. The situation may be aggravated by the closure of the naval facilities. For example, the water district will experience a drop in revenue unless new uses are found for the naval housing with comparable demand for water.  Regardless of the level of water demand, the district will have to replace some aging mains.  The fire department, already facing an overcrowded and inadequate building, will lose some of its volunteers and may face the expense of protecting vacant properties presently protected by the Navy.

 

The town has the potential to share more services with the adjoining town of Gouldsboro if some logistical issues can be addressed.  Potential areas of cooperation include police and fire protection and the schools.  The overall status of municipal services in Winter Harbor will remain uncertain until naval facility reuse plans are finalized.

 

3.         Water District

 

a.         Summary of 1993 Plan

 

The plan reported that water system was “sufficient for all future growth.”  At that time the water supply did not meet drinking water standards and a new treatment system was needed.  The original capacity of the lines had been reduced to 60 to 70 percent and many feet of line needed to be replaced.

 

b.         Current Conditions

 

There have been several major changes in the water system since the last plan was completed.   The district received state and federal grant funding for an underground water source, which has improved water quality dramatically.  While the system was previously a privately owned company, it is now managed by a water district a quasi-municipal entity formed by legislative act. It relies on grants and rate payers to support the system.  As is shown in the following paragraphs, additional improvements are needed.

 

           (1.)       System Description

 

The system was originally built between 1890 and 1895 and there were major expansions in the 1930s.  There is an average daily flow of 85,000 gallons per day (gpd) and the  safe capacity of the system is 175,000 gpd.  Flows average about 75,000  gpd in the winter and increase to about 140,000 gpd in the summer.  The record flow, during a water main break, was 246,000 gpd.   If the Naval facilities were to remain vacant after their closure, the Water District expects the flows to drop by about 40,000 gpd. 

 

There are 143 year-round residential and eleven commercial connections.  There are also 86 seasonal residential users for a total of 240  connections.  The district expects to lose 38 connections after the Navy Base closure.

 

The latest information on the distribution system is summarized in Table E.1 below.  As can be seen, many of the pipes are at least 70 years-old and in “questionable” condition. The district has had several major line breaks in the past few years due to the age of the pipes and added water pressure.  Pipes that were designed for 20-30 pounds of pressure now have 80 plus pounds.

 

Table E.1

Summary of Water District Pipe Conditions

Location

Type

Age

Condition

From Pump House to Harbor Road

12” ductile iron pipe

1999-2001

New

From Sargent Drive, east to Tower

12” ductile iron pipe

2000

New

Sargent Drive to center of town

8” cast iron pipe

1930s

Questionable

Harbor Road to West End of Forest Ave.

8” cast iron pipe

1920s

Questionable

Center of Golf Course around Grindstone Neck

6” cast iron pipe

1900s

Questionable

Harbor Road and Sargent Drive

4” cast iron pipe

Old

Questionable

SOURCE: Winter Harbor Water District

 

There are presently 30 fire hydrants on the system, including those on the Navy Base.  The fire chief does not recommend that any additional hydrants be installed at the present time.  However, if the mains along Forest Avenue are replaced, the chief recommends that a hydrant be placed at the end of that street.

 


c.         Current and Future Needs

 

The old standpipe needs new coating both inside and outside as well some rust removal.  There needs to be continued replacement of the old water mains.  The District is currently seeking grant funds to address these needs. The Navy Base closure would mean a drop in revenues.

 

d.         Potential for Shared Services

 

Due to the distance between the settled areas of Gouldsboro and Winter Harbor and the presence of ledge,  it is unlikely that an extension of the Winter Harbor Water District into any portion of Gouldsboro would ever be economical.  Therefore, there is no real potential for shared services.

 

e.         Other Water Supplies

 

 Most new buildings in the town will have private water supplies as the land available for building is not accessible to the public system. The future land use plan, however, makes recommendations to discourage growth in the more remote parts of town. The former Navy housing at Schoodic is supplied by an independent public system and there is also a system serving the National Park Service at Frazer Point. As of 1990 25% of the Town's population had  private wells.  No comparable data are available from the 2000 Census.

 

4.         Education

 

a.         Summary of 1993 Plan

 

The plan addressed no specific issues with education.  As is the case in 2002, students in grades k-8 attended the Winter Harbor Grammar School and those in 9–12 attended Sumner Memorial High School in Sullivan.

 

b.         Current Conditions

 

Winter Harbor is part of School Union 96.  The other members of this union are Gouldsboro, Sullivan, Sorrento, Franklin and Steuben.   Winter Harbor students attend grades K-8 at the Winter Harbor Grammar School and grades 9-12 at the Sumner Memorial High School in Sullivan.   Please note that this information is current as of August 2003, it does not reflect the significant changes in school facilities that are taking place as the plan was going to print. 

 

(1.)       Winter Harbor Grammar School

 

The Winter Harbor Grammar School has ten classrooms as well as a library.  It leases the gymnasium from the town.  The school meets all state accreditation requirements. There is presently excess capacity since the school has a rated design capacity of 210 students and current (fall 2003) enrollment is 28. 

 

Before the closure, there were 25 faculty and staff. The union expects to have only 8.3 full-time equivalent staff if current post-closure enrollment remains at its present levels.  The annual budget for the school was $845,700 and this amount was expected to decrease to about $575,000 after the base closure.  These figures are subject to revision and may have changed by the time this plan is adopted. Per pupil costs are expected to increase from $13,811 to $15,625.  While enrollment fluctuated during the late 1980s and early 1990s, it has been declining since 1997 (see Table E.2).  In 1989 there were 143 Winter Harbor students in grades K-6 compared to only 63 in these grades in 2001.    The school already had vast amounts of excess capacity before the closure.

 

 


Table E.2

School Enrollment Trends, Winter Harbor Grammar School1

1986-2002

 

Year

K-8

9-12

Total

 

1986

157

55

212

 

1987

154

56

207

 

1988

168

60

228

 

1989

170

55

225

 

1990

157

47

204

 

1991

147

42

189

 

1992

165

40

205

 

1993

148

47

195

 

1994

153

44

197

 

1995

146

44

190

 

1996

137

50

187

 

1997

144

53

197

 

1998

141

47

188

 

1999

122

53

175

 

2000

112

40

152

 

2001

73

41

114

 

2002

36

26

62

 

1Note: Enrollments are as of October 1 of the school year

Source: School Union 96

 

 

 

            Due to the many uncertainties, there is no reliable way to project future enrollment trends.  If a reuse is found for the Navy housing that will result in the units being occupied by families with school-aged children, these projections will have to be revised.

 

(2.)       Sumner Memorial High School

 

            The Sumner Memorial High School has a rated capacity of more than 400 students and had a fall 2001 enrollment of 322.    Facilities include 24 classrooms and a 8,937-square-foot gymnasium, a 2,580-square-foot library and a 2,300-square-foot cafeteria.   One immediate need is replacement of the portable classrooms.  There are, however, no current state accreditation deficiencies.

 

            No additional faculty or staff is presently needed and no change in staffing is expected as a result of the Navy Base closing.  The 2001-2002 budget for the school was $2,748,355.  It was expected to increase to $2,800,000 after the base closing.

 

            Enrollment trends are shown on Table E.3.  As with elementary school enrollment, there have been considerable fluctuations over time.  Between 1996 and 2000, however, there was a steady decrease from a total of 358 students to 322.  Enrollments are expected to continue to decline for the next few years.

 

 


Table E.3

School Enrollment Trends, Sumner Memorial High School1

1986-2001

 

 

Winter Harbor

Gouldsboro

Other Towns

Total

 

 

1986

55

112

220

387

 

 

1987

56

120

230

406

 

 

1988

60

104

216

380

 

 

1989

55

92

204

351

 

 

1990

47

83

188

318

 

 

1991

42

70

201

313

 

 

1992

40

77

199

316

 

 

1993

47

101

214

362

 

 

1994

44

91

214

349

 

 

1995

44

87

213

344

 

 

1996

50

101

207

358

 

 

1997

53

98

202

353

 

 

1998

47

96

198

341

 

 

1999

53

92

191

336

 

 

2000

40

96

186

322

 

 

2001

41

89

192

322

 

1 NOTE: Enrollments are as of October 1 of the school year.

Source: School Union 96

 

 

 


c.         Potential for Shared Services

 

Since Winter Harbor has lost a large portion of its grammar school enrollment, it has ample excess capacity.  It thus could consider sharing facilities with the town of Gouldsboro.   This issue is being studied as the comprehensive plan is being prepared.

 

5.         Public Works

 

a.         Summary of 1993 Plan

 

            This issue was not addressed in the plan.

 

b.         Current Conditions and Future Needs

 

            Winter Harbor does not have a public works department.  All road maintenance is done on a contractual basis.  The town owns no public works equipment.  The closing of the Navy Base may mean that the town would have to assume responsibility for manhole clean-outs and road maintenance and plowing for the base housing units.

 

            There are several road deficiencies that should be addressed over the next few years.  State Route 186 has drainage problems and there are hazards due to the inadequate separation of motor vehicle and bicycle traffic.  The Route 186 concerns are scheduled to be addressed by the Maine Department of Transportation. Other roads that need improvement are Forest Avenue, Grindstone Avenue, Summer Harbor Road, Meadow Lane and Bellview Roads.

 

6.         Fire Department

 

a.         Summary of 1993 Plan

 

The plan indicated that the fire department was well-equipped and that it could rely on the Navy Base for back-up services.

 

b.         Current Conditions

 

(1.)       Staffing

 

Fire protection is provided by the 15-member volunteer fire department.  These volunteers are supplemented by mutual aid arrangements with adjoining towns.  Daytime coverage is limited.  Sometimes four volunteers are available to respond to calls during the day, at other times none are available.  OSHA rules require a minimum of five personnel for the initial response, this shortage of personnel is thus a serious deficiency.   There are generally an adequate number of volunteers during evening and weekend hours.

 

There are no paid personnel who could provide day coverage. While the department would like to have such a position, it could not afford the cost at this time.  If such an individual could be hired, he/she could be valuable in repairing and performing required checks on equipment, keeping records up to date and doing fire prevention presentations in schools.

 

It is hard for the volunteers to find time to attend the required training sessions plus the monthly business meetings.  There is at least one training session per month. It is already difficult to find enough volunteer to fill position such as secretary, treasurer and training officer.

 

The department needs to meet numerous training requirements.  These include training in blood borne pathogens, sexual harassment and NFPA 1001 firefighter professional qualifications.  It must also assure that it meets air pack and bottle tests (NFPA 1404), hose tests (NFPA 1962), engine service test (NFPA 1901) and ladder tests (NFPA 1931).  It must also meet NFPA 1500, state and federal OSHA respiratory standards.  The department has three emergency medical technicians (EMT’s) compared to six in the Gouldsboro fire department.  The two towns already share emergency medical services.

 

            The department has entered into a mutual aid arrangement with the Gouldsboro fire department to address these staffing shortages.  Both departments now automatically respond to calls in the other town.  These arrangements supplement standard mutual aid arrangements and increase daytime coverage.  There is also an arrangement with the National Park Service.

 

c.         Facilities and Equipment

 

The fire department is housed in the 2,184 square-foot fire station on Main Street.  Rooms include a 130-square foot meeting room, a 68-square-foot furnace-equipment storage room and a 52-square-foot bathroom-supply room and equipment, gear storage and laundry areas.  There are also two heated bays for trucks.

 

The building has several deficiencies.  The meeting room is too small to be used as a training room.  Also, it is not good practice to keep the department’s records and/or correspondence in the general meeting room.  The department needs at least one additional bay.   The ceilings in the vehicle storage area are not high enough.  Current NFPA requirements are that they be at least seven feet above the tallest truck.  Floor drains and exhaust removal arrangements are also inadequate.

 

While the size of the current station fall shorts of NFPA requirements, there is no room for expansion of the building at its present site.  It is located in the flood zone.  This means that the town may have to consider a new station someplace else in town.  The department does not foresee the need for any branch stations.

 

The current inventory of equipment is shown in Table E.4.  No additional pieces of equipment are expected to be needed in the next five to ten years.  The American LaFrance engine will have to be replaced by about 2004


 

 

Table E.4

Fire Department Equipment Inventory

 

Type

 

Year

Years of

Service Left

American LaFrance engine

1963

2

Spartin/3D engine

1992

20

GMC tanker

1988

 (1963 for tank)

20 years for truck,

 10 for tank

Ford van

1984

5

 

SOURCE: Winter Harbor Fire Department, 2002

 

d.         Level of service

 

The department presently has an average response time of five to seven minutes for calls in Winter Harbor.  For the most remote part of town, the call may take six to eight minutes.  For the most remote part of Gouldsboro, a call may take 20 to 30 minutes.  There are several areas of town where it is difficult to provide prompt access due to mud or poor road conditions.  These include Bay Lane, Barrett Avenue, Deep Cove Road, Meadow Lane, Point Road, School Street and Sargent Street.  Some are too narrow and some have no cul-de-sac.  Some private drives are hard to reach since they have low hanging trees or are not cut back far enough for large emergency vehicles.   Another issue is the lack of road signs in some developments.

 

In addition to regular fire fighting, department does school presentations during fire prevention week.  It also does fire inspections on request.    It would like to expand both these programs.  It also sees the need for a code such as NFPA 1+ to encourage automatic alarms and domestic sprinklers.

 

The department faces several water supply problems.  While the supply on the new parts of the public water system is adequate, it is less so on side streets and past Harbor Road.  A dry hydrant is needed on the 700 block of Summer Harbor Road.  The department also faces water supply problems on Grindstone and Sargent Points, Birch Harbor Road and in the Gerrishville area.

 

Fire department calls for service are shown on Table E.5.  In recent years they have averaged just over 30 a year.  If the Navy base is left vacant without a supervised fire detection system, there could be the risk of a significant fire starting before it is reported to the fire department.  The town needs to take measures to prevent this situation from occurring.

 


 

Table E.5

Fire Department Calls for Service

Year

Number of Calls

1993

18

1994

9

1995

13

1996

22

1997

27

1998

32

1999

31

2000

32

 

Source: Fire Department Records

 

7.         Sewer District

 

a.         Summary of 1993 Plan

 

The plan reported that the town had a “modern updated treatment plant with a high state rating for all aspects of this facility.”  No problems were noted.

 

b.         Current Conditions

 

The sewage collection system was built around 1900.  There have been no major expansions since that time, but there was a major rehabilitation of the system in 1976.   There is an average daily flow of 125,00 gallons per day.  According to sewer district records, there is no difference between winter and summer flows.  The record flow was 500,000 gpd, which is the capacity of the treatment system.

 

Pipe conditions are summarized in Table E.6 below.  As seen, most pipes are in good condition.  There are, however, about 3,100 feet that are in fair condition. One of these segments is over 100 years old.

 


 

Table E.6

Summary of Sewer District Pipe Conditions

 

Linear Feet

 

Type

 

Age

 

Condition

 

4,500’

4” PVC Force Main

26 years

Good

 

   800’

6” PVC Force Main

26 years

Good

 

7,000’

4’’ PVC Gravity Sewer

26 years

Good

 

   300’

6” PVC Gravity Sewer

26 years

Good

 

8,000’

8” PVC Gravity Sewer

26 years

Good

 

1,500’

10” PVC Gravity Sewer

26 years

Good

 

2,000’

8” Gravity VCT Sewer

45 years

Fair

 

1,250’

18” ABS Gravity Outfall Sewer

26 year

Good

 

1,800’

6” VCT Gravity Sewer

100 year

Fair

 

SOURCE: Winter Harbor Sewer District

 

As of early 2002, there were 193 residential customers as well as seven commercial and 80 governmental.   The treatment plant meets all state and federal standards and there are no serious problems with infiltration and inflow into the system.  The district did not indicate any other problems with the system .

 

c.         Future Needs

 

No major changes are expected after the closure of the Navy Base.  If the facilities were to remain closed, flows would drop from the current average of 125,000 gpd to about 116,000 gpd.  District officials report no concerns about the impact of the closure.

 

8.         Municipal Buildings

 

a.         Summary of 1993 Plan

 

The 1993 plan made no specific mention of needs with the municipal buildings at that time.

 

b.         Current Conditions

 

The primary town-owned building is the town office.  Other buildings include the gymnasium and the scout cabin.  The town office is a converted school building.  It includes a 96-square-foot foyer, a 352-square-foot clerk’s office and a 192-square-foot manager’s office.  There is also a 336-square-foot meeting room and a 144-square-foot police chief’s room.  The police chief’s needs will be dealt with separately.

 

The town office building presently faces several deficiencies.  First, the meeting room is too small.  Second, the police department area lacks the privacy necessary to conduct police department functions.   Third, the rest room is not handicapped accessible.

 

Town staff presently consists of a full-time town manager and a full-time town clerk.  Town officials foresee the need for a part-time town clerk within the next few years.  No other town staff are presently needed.

 

The Gymnasium building consists of 8,660 square-feet.  This includes the 6,860-square-foot gym, the 320-square-foot foyer and a 150-square-foot music/recreation room.  There are also two locker rooms of 500-square-feet each and an utility room and kitchen.  Beyond some minor maintenance, this building has no serious deficiencies.

 

The other town-owned building is the scout cabin.  It consists of 600 square-feet.  It is used primarily for scout functions and thus is not part of regular town government functions.

 

c.         Future Needs

 

There are unlikely to be any additional needs as a result of the closure of the naval facilities.  The town will still face the same deficiencies it does now in the town office.  One option that could be explored would be reuse of the current school if that facility should become vacant.  At the time of writing of this plan, it is premature to determine if the school will be closing.

 

9.         Police Department

 

a.         Summary of the 1993 Plan

 

At the time of the 1993 plan was prepared, police protection services were provided under a contract with the town of Gouldsboro.  The town now has its own department.

 

 

b.         Current Conditions

 

Police protection in Winter Harbor is provided by the Winter Harbor police department with back-up from the Hancock County Sheriff and State Police.  The department is staffed on a part-time basis but is on call 24 hours a day.  Staff consists of the chief and three other part-time officers.  The only support staff is the town’s administrative assistant, who is paid through the town office budget rather than the police department’s.

 

Facilities consist of a 144-square-foot office within the town office.  This office is separated from the main town office meeting room by a six-foot high partition that does not reach the ceiling.  This arrangement offers little privacy for the conduct of interviews and other confidential police functions.

 

The department has one cruiser.  As of early 2002, the vehicle was a 1997 Ford in fair condition.  It is nearing the end of its useful life.  The radio, related equipment and computer systems are in good condition.

 

Calls for service data are limited due to the newness of the department.  There were approximately 190 calls in 1998, 210 in 1999 and 260 in 2000.  The average response time to a call is ten to fifteen minutes.

 

c.         Future Needs

 

The department needs a larger (approximately 250 square-feet) and  private office.  It would also like to have more staff time for patrols, investigations and court appearances.  The department at this point is unable to predict any specific impacts from the Navy Base closing until it knows what the new use of the various facilities will be.

 

10.       Solid Waste and Recycling

 

a.         Summary of 1993 Plan

 

The plan mentioned that the town had a curbside collection in place with a pay per bag system.  Solid waste from the Naval facility was handled by a private contractor.

 

b.         Current Conditions

 

Currently, Winter Harbor contracts (jointly with Sorrento and Sullivan) with Harris Disposal for the once-weekly collection and delivery of trash to the Penobscot Energy Recovery Company (PERC) and annual collection of bulky items.  Winter Harbor’s share of payment to Harris’s is a percentage based on the amount collected during a single-town load survey done in 2000.  Winter Harbor residents currently have the option of purchasing a sticker for $2.00 a bag (limited to 40 lbs.), or purchasing individual trash bags from the town for $1.50. 

 

Town residents must make their own arrangements for construction and demolition debris (CDD) disposal.  Businesses are responsible for disposing of their waste materials.  Leaf and yard wastes are not collected by the town and there is currently no charge for bulky waste items.  W.E. Andrews collects recyclable materials every second and fourth Wednesday and takes them to Coastal Recycling. Coastal Recycling’s adjusted recycling rate decreased from 45.4% in 1999 to 39% in 2000.   

 

c.         Future Needs

 

Upon closure of the military base, the ownership of approximately 80 homes will be turned over to the town of Winter Harbor.  Where previously the Navy made waste disposal arrangements for base personnel, the town will now have to provide such services for anyone residing in those homes.  This is expected to increase disposal costs by 30 percent.  It may be necessary to perform another survey in the near future to readjust the pay scale so no town is paying a disproportionate amount.

 

Coastal Recycling is a struggling organization and Winter Harbor would like to have a back-up option for recyclables should the organization cease to exist.  Illegal dumping of white goods in town is a problem that could continue to grow.

 


 

F.  RECREATION

 

1.         Purpose

 

A comprehensive plan should contain an assessment of current recreational facilities and services.  This section aims to accomplish the following:

 

a.         present an overview of recreational services and facilities;

 

b.         assess current recreational needs; and

 

c.         project future needs.

 

2.         Key Findings and Issues

 

As a community hosting a portion of Acadia National Park, Winter Harbor residents have easy access to unspoiled open space.   One major recreational need facing the town is improving its public access points to salt water.  The town could also benefit from developing the SERC (Schoodic Education Research Center) site for low intensity recreation.

 

3.         An Overview of Recreational Services and Facilities

 

Acadia National Park (Schoodic Section) in the town of Winter Harbor provides hiking trails, running and biking, and sight seeing. The Grammar School offers a year- round playground and the school offers a number of recreational programs for children. The town gymnasium can be used for sport activities, as well as private parties. A private golf course is opened to the public for green fees. A private swimming pool is open to the residents of Winter Harbor during the summer months. The town dock offers access to moorings and the town now owns water frontage across from the Main Street filling station on Henry’s Cove for the public to launch boats.  This site needs further development.  A Boy Scout built a seating area on town land at the head of Sand Cove.

 

A privately owned marina provides launching facilities. Picnic areas are available at the National Park with running water and rest rooms. There are no public rest rooms in town.  A private yacht club offers sailing clubs use of moorings and their facility. There are no public tennis courts. The Town does offer a small beach area and public walking trails.

 

4.         Current Recreational Needs

 

The SERC facility offers an opportunity for public recreational use with walking trails and other low intensity uses.  The downtown area could benefit from having more benches and incidental green spaces such as small parks on vacant lots.  While residents traditionally have had access to large, undeveloped rural areas for hunting, fishing and related uses, changes in ownership could threaten this access.

 

5.         Future Needs

 

As mentioned in the Population section the town’s population is aging.  This means that more recreational programs may be needed for senior citizens.  At the same time, increased bicycle traffic from visiting tourists means opportunities for local businesses oriented toward this traffic. The town would need to explore options to retain recreational programs for its youth.


 

G.  MARINE RESOURCES

 

1.         Purpose

 

An analysis of marine resources is important given the town’s strong dependence on fisheries-related employment.  Any plan for the town must address critical marine resource issues.  This section aims to:

 

a.                   assess any changes in Winter Harbor’s marine resources since the last comprehensive plan was prepared; and

 

b.                  discuss current conditions and likely future needs.

 

2.         Key Findings and Issues

 

The harbor area is overcrowded.  There is inadequate parking and a waiting list for moorings.  The harbor also needs dredging.  There are insufficient tidal flats in Winter Harbor to allow for productive worming and clamming.  The high demand for shorefront property may make it difficult to retain the town’s working waterfront.

 

3.         Summary of 1993 Plan

 

The 1993 analysis indicated that  fishing resources appeared to be adequate to support the local fishing industry.  It also stated that “adequate support and service industries are available to meet fishermen’s needs” and that facilities such as docks supplies and moorings are appropriate to meet future needs.  Services for recreational boaters were also adequate.  The plan noted that there was some summer congestion, but that these instances were fairly short term and “probably do not justify the expense of increased dock area.”

 

4.         Current Conditions

 

a.         Shellfish Areas and Marine Life

 

There have been no changes in the areas closed to shell fishing since the previous comprehensive plan was prepared.  There are insufficient tidal flats for productive worming and clamming.   There are presently 25 full-time fishermen using the harbor of which six are from out of town.


 

b.         Harbor Facilities

 

There are 40 moorings at the Inner Harbor, 50 at Sand Cove and twelve public moorings at the marina plus eight private ones.  There is a main dock at the Inner Harbor and three floats.  The dock is 45 by 50 feet; two of the floats  are 24 by 14 feet and one is 24 by 30 feet. 

 

The main issue with the harbor is overcrowding.  Parking is already insufficient and there is a waiting list of seven people for moorings. While a mooring plan could help create additional mooring spaces, the on-shore parking shortage would still have to be addressed.  Increased moorings would be of little value if boaters are unable to park easily.  There is also concern over the impacts of increased boat traffic due to the Bar Harbor ferry at the marina.

 

Another issue is the need to dredge the harbor.  There is also the need for a public boat ramp at the head of Henry’s Cove.  The town already owns the property.  Use of this cove as a mooring area would be enhanced if it were protected by a breakwater.

 

The most pressing future issue is likely to be preservation of the working waterfront.  The high demand for shorefront property may make it difficult for people dependent on fisheries-related employment to retain access to the water.   Existing shore property owners may be pressured by high taxes to sell.   As discussed in the Population and Housing chapters, the recent decrease in population does not mean that the town isn’t facing land development pressures.


H.        RESOURCE INVENTORY

 

1.         Purpose

 

This section summarizes the major natural, water, agricultural and forest resources in Winter Harbor.  It aims to accomplish the following:

 

a.         present an overview of these resources;

 

b.         assess existing and likely future threats; and

 

c.         assess adequacy of current protection measures.

 

2.         Key Findings and Issues

 

The town has a number of rare plants and valuable wildlife habitats, which are largely protected by their location in Acadia National Park or on islands protected by conservation easements.  There are no working farms in town.  The majority of the town (perhaps 90 percent) is forested and about 3,300 acres are held in tree growth taxation.  Birch Harbor Pond is the only Great Pond in town and its drainage area is protected by conservation restrictions. 

 

3.         An Overview of Natural Resources

 

a.         Historical Review

 

Winter Harbor's main natural resource has always been the natural beauty of our village. Private ownership and the government have combined to protect these resources from development. Two large tracts of land could conceivably be divided and sold sometime in the future, Schoodic Point will remain unchanged as part of Acadia National Park. Ironbound, Turtle, and Jordan Islands are under conservation easements that further restrict building.

 

Other areas of natural resources remain relatively unchanged. Although never a major forest area, Winter Harbor did supply itself with firewood in the 1800's and early 1900's. Due to poor forestry practice in the past, we no longer supply our own firewood needs. Much wooded land remains, but with predominately softwood growth, which is not suitable for firewood.

 

The deer and sea bird populations became depleted in the earlier part of the last century, but recently the sea birds have been making significant returns and some deer have been seen in wintering areas. Such recoveries are the result of sound wildlife management regulations established by state and federal governments, and by habitat protection policies.

 

b.         Topography

 

The topography of Winter Harbor is such that there are many constraints on further development. Of our 8,031 acres, approximately 70 percent of the land is either wetlands or near surface bedrock. In several places the two are overlapping. This situation presents great difficulties in planning growth areas.

 

Winter Harbor is not especially hilly. Elevations range from sea level to 440 feet at Schoodic Head. Two-thirds of the land is between 100 and 200 feet above sea level, with about one-sixth between 200 and 400 feet and the remaining third of the area is below 100 feet above sea level. In general the town is flat to rolling with about 10 percent of the land having a slope from 8 to 15 percent. Another 10% is more difficult to develop, with slopes varying from 15 to 25%. There are four spots in Winter Harbor that have slopes exceeding 25 percent, making them virtually unbuildable. All four areas are protected by regulations or by National Park restrictions.

 

c.         Wetlands

 

A wetland is an area where the ground water table is at the surface most of the time. This habitat is important to the support of many types of aquatic plants, birds, and other wildlife. Wetland areas also help control flooding and store water for long periods of time. About 1/4 of the Town is wetlands. The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has designated eighteen wetland (areas of ten or more acres) in Winter Harbor. These wetlands are being evaluated for habitat value by the state.

 

State and federal regulations now protect wetlands. We do not expect any diminution of our wetlands, because of their protection, and they will continue to support good populations of wildlife, which in turn promote recreational values.

 

d.         Streams

 

There is only one steam in town significant enough to be named: Mill Stream. It runs north to south, one main branch comes from Lily Pond in South Gouldsboro, others come from Jones Pond and wetlands.

 

There is another stream that runs out of the "Meadow" behind the Fire Station and empties into Henry Cove between the Post Office and the former Donut Hole restaurant. There are other streams on Schoodic Peninsula, on lronbound Island, and in Summer Harbor. These are largely drainage streams and are not spring fed. These streams add significantly to the esthetic value of our town and to the rural areas. Streams are protected by new state and federal regulations; as referenced in the wetlands section (i.e.; M.R.S.A. 38).

 

e.         Wildlife

 

The Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife has provided us with the following information and we have added local knowledge. There are two deer wintering or travel corridors in town. One is a large area between Newman Street and the western side of Mill Stream. The second is near the north side of Route 186 between Winter Harbor and Birch Harbor.  There have been further increases in the deer population.  There are bedding and wintering areas on Grindstone Neck and between Summer Harbor and Route 186.

 

There are now four known Bald Eagle nests, one on Schoodic Island, one on Ironbound Island, and one on Jordan Island.    There are shorebird roosting sites in the Little Moose Island area. Schoodic Island and Egg Rock are Colonial nesting seabird Islands. Turtle Island is a wading bird rookery.  Arey Cove and Little Moose Island have shorebird roosts. An area of special concern is the Roseate Tern nesting on Egg Rock. There is a seal haul-out on the southwestern end of Turtle Island. These sites are all protected by either the National Park or conservancy restrictions.

 

There is an abundant variety of fauna in the town. Moose, bears, foxes, coyotes, bobcats, rabbits (snowshoe hares), weasels, woodchucks, red squirrels, and others are all found in Winter Harbor. Bird populations are abundant and of varied species (over 250 recorded types).

 

We have a surprising number of rare plants in our area. The Maine Natural Heritage Program names four plants on their list. They are:

 

1.      Fragrant Cliff Wood-Fern, which is ranked imperiled with special concern status. (Sited at Schoodic Head, Acadia National Park);

 

2.      Marsh Felwort, ranked rare in Maine with a status of endangered;

 

3.       Mountain Sandwort, ranked rare in Maine and is on the watch list.

 

4.       Blinks, ranked imperiled with a status of special concern.

 

The Maine Critical Areas Program has designated Little Moose Island (Located in Acadia National Park) a critical area due to the sighting of these last three plants. They have also listed an area on Schoodic Peninsula for the presence of Jack pine.  Other Rare and Endangered Natural Features listed by the Natural Heritage Program are the coastal bedrock outcrop at Schoodic Point. This is now being evaluated as to its significance.

 

There are five registered Critical Areas in Winter Harbor:

 

1.      A marine invertebrate area on the western side of Schoodic Peninsula;

 

2.      The Jack pine area previously mentioned;

 

3.      Little Moose Island for the previously mentioned sub-arctic alpine plants;

 

4.      Schoodic Island as having an Eagle nesting site and Eider duck nesting.

 

5.       Ironbound Island as having "Old Growth Pine." Note: 1,2,3,4 are located in Acadia National Park; Number 5 is in a conservation easement.

 

The town now has access to improved mapping of wildlife features through the Beginning with Habitat program.  Relevant mapping data are included in Map 1.  These data are particularly important to use in the determination of growth and rural areas.  Generally speaking, fragile environmental features should be in areas where relatively little development is expected.

 

f.                    Scenic Resources

 

Winter Harbor has many scenic views.  The majority of the key scenic views are within Acadia National Park and thus protected from development.  There are also important scenic views of Turtle and Ned Islands.  While these two islands are protected by conservation easements, views of these properties from the mainland are not protected.   There is also a scenic view of the shore from the Gray Road.  This area is protected by a piece of town-owned property. 

 

Another scenic area is the end of Grindstone Point.  This is protected by the current zoning for this area.  The head of the harbor as seen from the flag pole area is also an important scenic resource.  The current zoning offers some protection of this area, but it should be protected as part of any downtown revitalization scheme. 

 

There are also other general features that contribute to the town’s scenic character.  These include the wooded areas along the roads, the remaining open fields, water and harbor views, the historic homes and approaches to Acadia National Park.  These features contribute to the overall small town character than make Winter Harbor an appealing place to live and their protection is important.

 

4.         Agricultural  & Forest Resources

 

Most of Winter Harbor is forested. Approximately 3,269 acres (39.5%) of the town's 8261 acres, was in tree growth in 2002. About 1,793 acres of that is softwood, 1236 acres is mixed growth, and 240 acres are in hardwood tree growth.  This is a slight increase over the 3,024 acres of Tree Growth land reported in the 1994 plan.

 

Forestry presently has a very limited economic role in Winter Harbor.  Comprehensive planning committee members believe that most of the land held in tree growth in town is in that classification for tax shelter purposes rather than due to any desire to harvest the land for its timber resources.   If harvesting does occur, it is generally done by contractors from outside the region who do not hire local labor.

 

These land covers further protect the ambiance of the town and respond to our need to "keep the town as it is".  About 6 percent of the total town is now in residential development. Approximately 2 percent of the area of Winter Harbor is in commercial use, with some home businesses.

 

Trees provide an important buffer along Route 186 and other public ways.  They are particularly important along the approaches to the Schoodic portion of Acadia National Park.  Trees are also important in maintaining and enhancing the character of the downtown area. This should be reflected in any downtown revitalization scheme.

 

There is very little open land, some small areas on Schoodic Point and Little Moose Island, the Grindstone Golf Course, and several small areas between five and ten acres. There is no agricultural use of land in town, although many people have home gardens or small-scale hobby farms.   Some restaurants in town purchase a portion of their produce through the Hancock County Locally Grown Foods program, which markets local produce to area restaurants.

 

5.         Water Resources

 

            Winter Harbor has very limited inland surface water.   As mentioned above, there are few streams in town.  The one major stream in town is Mill Stream, which flows from Jones Pond in Gouldsboro. This stream is presently protected by the shoreland zoning as shown on the zoning map.

 

The only Great Pond in town is the 19-acre Birch Pond, which was once the sole supply source for the Winter Harbor District.   About 90 percent of the drainage area is protected from development since it is owned by the district.    Water quality data for this pond are shown in Table H.1.   It is important that the town take measures to preserve its water quality.

 

 

Table G.1

Characteristics of Birch Harbor Pond

Winter Harbor

 

ANAD (in acres)

DDA/town (acres)

ANAD as % of total DDA

WQC

F

LOP

C/P

Birch Harbor Pond

234

259

90.3%

Moderate-sensitive

2.53

M

1.00/0.043

 

SOURCE: Maine Department of Environmental Protection

 

Surface area:  Surface area of the water body in acres

 

ANAD: Area not available for development

 

DDA/town:     Direct drainage area (watershed) of the water body in acres in Winter Harbor

 

% of DDA:     Percent of total DDA located within Winter Harbor

 

F:                     Pounds of phosphorus based allocated to watershed based on parts per billion 

 

WQC:             Water Quality Category based on the water bodies' vulnerability to phosphorus levels.  This rating is derived from many variables such as flushing and growth and development rates. 

 

LOP:               Level of protection recommended by DEP.  M = Medium

 

C:                    Acceptable increase in lake’s total  phosphorus concentration in parts per billion.

 

P:                     pounds per acre phosphorus concentration

 

Comments:     DEP standards for the level of protection are advisory only.  In view of the fact that the lake is the water district’s back-up water supply, the town may want to set a higher level of protection.  This will increase the protection measures required for any development that does occur in the lake watershed.

 

 

            The current needs of the water district are discussed in the Public Facilities and Services chapter.  Also discussed there, is the status of other smaller communal water systems, which are subject to state standards. 

 

            Outside of the area served by the public water system and the various community systems, residents depend on private wells.   There were some cases of wells being contaminated adjacent to the old landfill and salt-sand storage shed.  A water main was extended into this area and the town replaced its salt-sand storage shed in 2002.   There have also been reports of salt-water intrusion into some wells in the Grindstone area.   These have apparently been addressed by the owners without town assistance.

 

6.         Flood Plains

 

            The town participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).  This offers federally subsidized flood insurance to property owners and sets building standards within the flood plain.  There is no history of any significant flood damage in Winter Harbor.  Buildings along the shore have remained in place over 100 years.  The areas subject to floodplain zoning are shown on the zoning map.

 

7.         Current and Likely Future Threats

 

a.         Natural Resources

 

            Since many of the key natural resources areas are either protected by their presence in Acadia National Park or conservation easements, there is no immediate threat.  A less immediate threat is the potential fragmentation of vast expanses of wildlife habitat in the rural parts of town.  This fragmentation could occur through poorly planned land development.

 

 

b.         Agricultural and Forest Resources

 

            Since there are no working farms in town, there is no discernible threat to agricultural resources.  The major threat to forest resources is the possibility of large-scale subdivision development.

 

c.         Water Resources

 

            The major threat to ground water resources is potential contamination of ground water from uses on adjoining properties.  All known sources of contamination have been addressed, however.

 

8.         Assessment of Current Protective Measures

 

            As mentioned above, many important natural areas are already protected by their location in Acadia National Park or by conservation easements.  Additional protection is offered through shoreland zoning standards.  Less certain, is the protection offered features in inland areas away from the Park.   Subdivision applicants may be unaware of the presence of deer yards or other wildlife habitats within a proposed development.  One option would be for the town to require, through its subdivision ordinance, that the applicant prepares a natural resource assessment that identifies key natural resource features.

 

            Apart from tree growth tax classification, there are relatively few measures to protect forestland from clearing and development in inland areas.  One option for the town to pursue would be restrictions on the density of new development in remote, forested areas.

 

Water quality is protected in several ways.  The current land use ordinance has standards for the Birch Harbor Pond watershed that restrict certain land uses that could threaten water quality (e.g., dry cleaning and photographic processing).  The town may want to add phosphorus control measures to its subdivision ordinance in order to provide additional protection to Birch Harbor Pond. The town also has shoreland zoning provisions and flood plain ordinance standards that comply with all state requirements.  There are also standards for clearing land for development, which help mitigate erosion.   However, the town may want to review its standards for storm water runoff and other sources of non-point pollution in inland areas.

 

One deficiency in water quality protection is the lack of a wellhead protection ordinance in the area surrounding the wellhead for the new supply for the Winter Harbor Water District.  It is important that the town enact standards to assure that new uses don’t locate in this area that may threaten ground water resources.


 

 

I.  HISTORICAL AND ARCHAEOLOGICAL RESOURCES

 

1.         Purpose

 

A comprehensive plan must assess a town’s historical and archaeological resources.  This section aims to accomplish the following:

 

a.         identify major historical and pre-historical sites;

 

b.         assess existing protection measures; and

 

c.         assess threats to these sites.

 

2.         Key Findings and Issues

 

While the town has many buildings and sites of historical interest, only the Egg Rock and Winter Harbor light stations and Hammond Hall are on the National Register of Historic Places.  There is clearly the potential to place many other sites on the register.   There are also several historic archaeological shipwreck sites and some pre-historic Native American shell middens.

 

3.         Major Sites and Features

 

a.         An Overview

 

There are several buildings that have a long history and contribute to the local character of Winter Harbor. Probably the most important of these is our beautiful old New England style white clapboard church. The First Baptist Church of Winter Harbor had its 100th birthday in 1978. Other old structures are our town office, Hammond Hall, and the present home of our Historical Society (a former school) and Channing Chapel Library. Grindstone Point is an historical area that has been a part of Winter Harbor since the late 1800's. This section of town was established by wealthy "main-line" Philadelphia families and consists of many fine old summer "cottages". There is a "tea house" on the western shore that has been preserved, and a lovely old yacht club that celebrated its 100th anniversary in 1990.  Further information on historical resources can be found in the Existing Land Use chapter.

 

b.         State Recognized sites

 

The Maine Historical Preservation Commission (MHPC) reports that two historical sites in Winter Harbor are on the National Register of Historic Places.  These are the Egg Rock Light Station and the Winter Harbor Light Station.  The Hammond Hall is just completing the list process.  The MHPC suggests that an above ground survey be conducted to identify other sites that could be listed on the National Register.  Clearly, the First Baptist Church and the Channing Chapel building are possible candidates as well as private dwellings both on Grindstone and elsewhere in town.

 

MHPC records also show that there are nine historical archaeological sites in Winter Harbor.  These include the City of Portland (a.k.a New England), Addie, Clara and Mabel and Mystic Belle shipwrecks.  They also include batteries on Egg Rock and Turtle Island.    The other sites are the E. Myrick cellar and William and Clara Crane property (both Anglo-American domestic) and the Thomas Frazer homestead (Afro-American domestic).    According to the MHPC, there has been no town-wide professional survey of historic archaeological sites in Winter Harbor.  It suggests that future fieldwork could focus on the earliest Euro-American settlement.

 

The MHPC records list eight prehistoric sites (those that predate written history). These are primarily Native-American shell middens along the coast.  MHPC records claim that five of these sites could be eligible for National Register listing.

 

4.         Assessment of Existing Measures to Protect Historic and Archaeological Resources

 

            The land use ordinance contains a relevant provision for shoreland areas.  It requires that “any proposed land use activity involving structural development or soil disturbance” on or adjacent to a site either listed or eligible to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places be submitted to the Maine Historic Preservation Commission for review.  This provision would be of greater value if the town had more information on eligible properties.

 

            Outside of the shoreland, there are relatively few measures in place.  Town ordinances could be modified to require more explicit identification requirements for sites of historical and pre-historical value.  For example, this could be one of the review criteria in the subdivision ordinance.

 

5.         Assessment of Threats

 

Perhaps the greatest threat to the town’s historic resources is that they could be damaged because no one is aware of their location.  A secondary threat is that the high cost of maintaining older buildings may make it difficult to keep them in good repair.


 

J.  FISCAL CAPACITY

 

1.         Purpose

 

            An understanding of the fiscal capacity of a town is important in assessing a town’s ability to pay for expenditures related to growth and development and understand its tax base.  This section aims to accomplish the following:

 

a.         discuss recent changes in its fiscal situation; and

 

b.         identify current and likely future fiscal issues.

 

2.         Key Findings and Issues

 

            Winter Harbor has a limited tax base.  The fiscal situation of the town has worsened since the closing of the naval facilities.   The decrease in population means that it is more costly to provide for services such as schools and public water and sewer.

 

3.         Recent Fiscal Trends

 

The town of Winter Harbor, like most towns in Maine, has seen a decline in revenue from both State Revenue Sharing and Local Road Assistance funds due to changes in state funding.  While neither of these has completely dried up, the amounts have decreased and must be made up from local sources of revenue.  School subsidies are uncertain and educational costs come to 56 percent of our total yearly expenditures.  The primary source of revenue for the town, is of course, property taxation (see Table J.1).

 

Table J.1

Revenue Sources, 2002

Local Tax Rate

$14.20 Per Thousand

Property Tax Revenue

$871,567.00

Other Taxes

$  83,978.00

Licenses and Fees

$  73,977.00

Federal Revenues Source

$393,430.00

State Revenue Source

$  49,690.00

SOURCE: Winter Harbor town reports

 

 

            With completion of a revaluation in 1990, the assessed value of the town was raised from $24,151,053 to $58,413,572 in an attempt to reflect the current market trends in coastal real estate.  As a result of the revaluation, the tax rate dropped from $18.86 per thousand to $8.50 per thousand.  Over the last 12 years, the tax rate has increased to $14.20 per thousand and the assessed value has increased to $68,350,000.00.  If current trends in Winter Harbor continue, there is little hope that other sources of municipal funding will develop.

 

Somewhere between $60,000.00 and $70,000.00 is realized each year from automobile and boat excise taxes, building permit fees and agent fees from various types of state required licenses, State Revenue Sharing and State Road Assistance has declined due to changes in state funding policy.  Closure of the Navy Security Group Activity, the town of Winter Harbor lost approximately 1/3 of its occupied, year-round residential housing.  Also, the sewer and water districts lost approximately 1/3 of their users and revenue base, the elementary school lost approximately 73 percent of its students enrollment and reduction in State educational funding. This means that town faces major fiscal readjustments.

 

            Winter Harbor has little land presently available for development and the lack of any type of industry discourages working-age people from moving here.  Young people, also, feel the need to move away since there are few jobs available and setting oneself up as a commercial fisherman is difficult due to costs and regulatory restrictions.  This means that a regional approach to economic development is needed.

 

            Other than some openings and closing of food establishments, there has been little change in the business climate for years, and no new sources of income are anticipated.  The general administrative costs by the town will increase along with increases in insurance, fuel, supplies, wages and the like. 

 

            Closure of the Navy Security Group Activity June 30, 2002 highlighted the significance that no federal defense spending will be available to the Winter Harbor economy or school system.  In order to retain the viability of the town and support new business activity, the town’s adjustment strategy requires assuring that the 82 Navy housing units are marketable and inhabitable.

 

            The ability to finance operating and capital expenditures, in the future, will largely depend upon the homeowners’ willingness to pay taxes.  Increasingly, it would seem, the homeowners would be seasonal residents who will have to bear year-round expenses in municipal services and education.  Capital expenditures could be coordinated through the development of a capital investment plan.


 

Table J. 2

TOTAL EXPENDITURES

 

 

 

1997

1998

1999

2000

2001

 

General Government

$99,621

$84,990

$88,625

$149,312

105,847

 

Protection (Fire and Police)

83,290

98,768

106,550

107,111

101,445

 

Health and Sanitation

34,267

40,423

45,880

52,426

40,346

 

Highways and Bridges

88,148

132,070

68,000

102,739

63,821

 

Unclassified

14,320

28,943

40,300

47,386

37,128

 

Education

579,787

462,151

651,104

512,515

657,407

 

Assessment

44,962

45,620

16,230

87,305

50,976

 

SOURCE: town reports

 

 

4.         Current and Likely Future Fiscal Issues

 

            Perhaps the major fiscal issue facing the town is coping with the loss of revenue associated with the Navy.    Given the general aging of the population, the cost of maintaining the school is likely to increase.   As mentioned in the Public Services and Facilities chapter, there needs to be greater discussion of shared services with adjoining towns. 

 

Also, as discussed in the Economy chapter, there needs to a regional or at least Schoodic area approach to economic development.   While this may not contribute directly to relieving the tax base, it will create jobs that allow a greater number of younger families to remain in or move to the area.  It will also increase incomes thereby making it easier for residents to afford to pay taxes.


 

K.  EXISTING LAND USE

 

1.         Purpose

 

An understanding of land use trends is important in assessing the need for new land use regulations and determining other steps the town could take to manage growth and minimize sprawl.  This section aims to:

 

d.                  Review major land use changes that have occurred since the last comprehensive plan was prepared;

 

e.                   Analyze current conditions in the downtown area and review possible incentives to make the downtown more attractive;

 

f.                    Review current land use ordinances;

 

g.                   Discuss land use issues that need to be addressed as a result of the closing of Naval facilities; and

 

h.                   Review options to minimize sprawl and protect natural-resource rich areas in the rural part of town.

 

2.         Key Findings and Issues

 

While the number of year-round and second homes in Winter Harbor between 1990 and 2000 increased by 8 percent, the town experienced a 15 percent decrease in its year-round population.    The town thus needs to plan for growth at the same time that it faces economic changes due to the closure of the Navy Base. 

 

The downtown area has many buildings of high historic value and offers some scenic views.  These are strong assets that could help attract future growth to the village.  There are also, however, some blighted buildings, sidewalks in poor repair and stormwater drainage problems.   The town presently has few measures to discourage sprawl in rural areas and encourage development in the village.

 

3.         Summary of 1993 Plan

 

The 1993 plan reported that, apart from the naval facilities, there had been little change in land use over the previous fifteen years.   It stated that “no significant change” was anticipated for the Naval and Park properties.  It also mentioned the predominance of mixed uses and the problems that “one size fits all” zoning posed for the town.  There were no large-scale forestry or agricultural uses in town at that time.

 


4.         Land Use Changes Since 1993

 

Land use changes are best viewed in the overall context of how the town has changed.  This can be done through a brief review of 1990-2000 U.S. Census data.  Winter Harbor’s year-round population decreased from 1,157 in 1990 to 988 in 2000.  This nearly 15 percent decrease is in sharp contrast to the 10 percent increase in Hancock County’s population during the same time period.  There is further discussion of population issues in the Population chapter.

 

The median age in town increased from 28.3 in 1990 to 31.3 in 2000.  By contrast, the median age for Hancock County increased from 35.7 to 40.7.  Persons in Winter Harbor under age 18 decreased by 12 percent in the ten-year period while county-wide there was a 2 percent increase in that age group.   School enrollment trends are discussed in the Public Facilities and Services chapter.

 

The only town with a younger median age than Winter Harbor in 2000 was Castine, which hosts the Maine Maritime Academy.  The median age in Winter Harbor is likely to increase significantly once the Navy base is closed. According to Census data, there were 121 persons in Winter Harbor residing in group quarters in 1990 compared to none in 2000.  Unless naval group quarters (such as barracks) are subsequently reused for dormitories or similar uses, there is not likely to be any new population in group quarters.

 

            Specific information on land use changes can be obtained from property tax maps.  A review of assessment data from 1995 through the first three months of 2002 shows that 27 new structures were added during that time.  These consisted of two commercial units, one duplex, ten single-family homes and fourteen mobile/modular homes (see Map 2 New Development 1995-2002).

 

            Seven of these units were built in the general village area.  The rest were either along Route 186, the shore or along secondary town roads.  Only a small portion of development has thus occurred in the village area.  The overall pace of development has been relatively slow.  This means that the town is not presently experiencing serious sprawl and has the opportunity to take steps to avoid sprawl-related problems in the future.

 

5.         An Analysis of Current Conditions in the Downtown

 

Winter Harbor has an established downtown area with a public water and sewer system.  It thus has potential to attract further development and serve as a “growth area.”   This would be particularly likely if the town were to undertake steps to encourage further private and public investment in the downtown.  The comprehensive planning committee has identified a number of assets within the downtown as well as some liabilities.  These are discussed below.

 

The village area has no standing as a legal entity and has no set boundaries.  This means that it is defined subjectively.  Committee members have suggested that it begins at the 35 MPH zone on Route 186 to the “T” intersection of Main and Newman streets east to Duck Pond, west to Hammond Hall and south to the town dock and marina (see Map 2, Downtown inset).

 

a.         Buildings

 

Winter Harbor is fortunate to have a number of buildings with high historic value.  While there are many such buildings, ones of particular note are Hammond Hall, the Channing Chapel and Library, the Historical Society, town office building and the Hanover Building. The appeal of these buildings is enhanced by landscaping and water views.  Further discussion of historical buildings can be found in the Historical and Archaeological Resources chapter.  The appeal of these buildings is enhanced by landscaping and water views. 

 

There are also, however, several blighted buildings that detract from the appeal of the downtown. There are about six that are structurally sound but need some maintenance and paint. Another house was vacated after being condemned and there are two others that are vacant and need to be demolished.  Two other homes have been under reconstruction for several years and appear unlikely ever to be finished.  Abandoned vehicles and vehicle parts are stored on another property.

 

The town may want to take measures to protect buildings of high historic value and eliminate sources of blight.  One possible strategy to protect historic buildings would be to work with the local historical society to have the buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places.   Listing does not restrict what owners may do with their property, but it does limit the ability of projects using state and federal funds to remove or alter such properties.  A property is subject to removal from listing if its exterior is altered.  Many towns have erected small plaques in front of buildings of high historic value.

 

There are also several options for removing sources of blight.  Grant funds through programs such as the Community Development Block Grant can be used to acquire and demolish blighted structures.   These funds may also be used for home and commercial building improvements such as basic repairs and façade improvements.  Some towns have enacted clean yard ordinances for their village areas.

 

b.         Signage

 

The comprehensive planning committee noted few problems with signs. There was some concern about plastic and illuminated signs. The town may want to review its sign standards for the downtown area.  Some towns have enacted standards for signs that require materials and colors that are compatible with the historic character of the downtown.  Since vehicles travel more slowly in the downtown, signs don’t need to be as large as they are in an area where highway commercial uses are likely to occur.

 

c.         Sidewalks

 

            There are presently sidewalks on some of the downtown streets.  They run from Ocean Heights to Hammond Hall.  There is no sidewalk along Sargent Street or up Newman Street.  Most of the rest of the downtown area also lacks sidewalks.  Those that are in place are generally in poor condition.  For example, the sidewalk from the post office to Beach Street lacks a curb on most segments.  The Harbor Road sidewalk is “just a line on the road.” 

 

The sidewalks along Main Street are separated from the road by a gully.  This is a hazard for both pedestrians and motorists.  There have been several cases of vehicles parking at the edge of the road in winter, being damaged and requiring towing after slipping into the ditch.   The extent of the hazard of these ditches is not readily apparent if they are covered by snow or it is dark.

 

            The poor condition of the sidewalks makes their use by pedestrians difficult.  Anecdotal reports indicate that people with baby carriages are often unable to push them along the sidewalks due to the uneven paving.  This situation is further aggravated by poor drainage, which leads to ice build-ups in the winter.  In the summer there are large volumes of vehicular and pedestrian traffic leading to other potential safety issues.   This is a particular problem around commercial establishments. Recent patchwork repairs to the sewer and water lines have further aggravated the condition of the sidewalks. 

 

There are presently pedestrian crosswalks across Newman Street at Main Street and on Main Street at Harbor Road and between the 5&10 and Gerrish’s.  Other crossings include the post office to the IGA and the church to the parking lot.  The committee noted the lack of crosswalks at Sargent Street near the ferry landing and on Main Street from Ocean Heights drive.

 

A comprehensive sidewalk reconstruction and installation program would enhance the attractiveness of the downtown.  Ideally, most public streets in the village area should have sidewalks. One possible exception could be dead-end streets that have a very low volume of traffic.   Any sidewalk improvement program should be undertaken in conjunction with street and drainage improvements.

 

d.         Streets, Parking and Drainage

 

Committee members identified several possible traffic safety hazards.  These include poor sight distance coming out of Sargent Street and the very narrow Millstream bridge on Main Street.  Another was poor traffic circulation entering and exiting the post office.  There is also a blind spot on Main Street across from the Hanover building.

 

Public parking areas are limited.  There are about four to six places at the historical society and 15 places at the town office in winter and 30 in the summer.  The town dock has approximately 30 places.   There are also several private lots that are used by the public but are generally restricted to customers and visitors of the owners.

 

The committee noted several areas where parking is deficient, particularly in the summer months.  These include Main Street adjacent to the Laundromat and between the 5&10 and Gerrish’s.  Parking is also a problem in front of Hammond Hall during functions. 

 

Parking is prohibited during the winter months on both sides of Main Street.  There are temporary restrictions imposed on the north side during the lobster festival.  There are also restrictions on Harbor Street near Main Street and near the town dock parking lot.

 

Drainage along Main Street is a problem.  Repeated resurfacing has raised the level of the street, creating the gullies mentioned above in the discussion of sidewalks.  Ice build-ups are often a problem in winter and minor flooding occurs at other times of the year.

 

e.         Green Spaces and Landscaping

 

There are relatively few public green spaces in the Winter Harbor village area.  All trees and bush plantings are privately owned except for the garden in front of the gym and town office.  There is also the public boat-launching ramp.  It is presently usable only at high tide.

 

The downtown area offers several scenic views.  The views from the area between the flagpole and the post office are particularly appealing.  Other key scenic areas include the views toward Grindstone and Acadia National Park.  There are also good views from Sargent Street and the town dock.  Any downtown revitalization strategy should capitalize upon these views by preserving them as much as possible.

 

Natural features also shape the village area. These include the wetlands on both sides of Newman Street.  The most important feature is the ocean. The appearance of the village could be further enhanced by increased tree planting.

 

6.         A Review of Current Land Use Ordinances

 

The Winter Harbor land use ordinance has the standard shoreland zones (Resource Protection, Stream Protection and Limited Residential) required by the state.  These zones follow, but do not exceed, state standards. While adequate for the current situation in town, further growth and development may require changes.  This would be especially the case if changes are made to the town-wide zones.  It is important to avoid conflicts between town-wide and shoreland zones. The town also has General Development, Residential/Recreational and Rural Districts that cover the rest of town (see the zoning map and Appendix I for a description of permitted uses). The present ordinance does not apply to land within Acadia National Park.  This is a serious deficiency that must be addressed.

 

 

While the downtown will be an important part of any future development scheme, there is presently no separate downtown zone.  The lot road frontage and setback requirements are the same for all uses in all districts (except for those developments greater than 2,500 square-feet as described below).  This limits the ability of the planning board to distinguish between the development needs of the downtown and those of more rural areas.  For example, a proposed commercial operation on a small lot in the downtown must meet the same basic standards that a highway-oriented commercial development is required to meet.  This makes it more difficult to adjust to the significant lot limitations in most downtown properties while also assuring that setbacks and off-street parking provisions are adequate for highway commercial uses.

 

Many towns have enacted zero side lot setback standards for downtown areas.  These allow downtown buildings to be built with no space between them, which is characteristic of many traditional village main streets.    If such standards are enacted, they must include building code provisions that require firewalls between buildings and other fire prevention measures.

 

Another issue with the current ordinance is the few distinctions between uses allowed in the General Development and Rural Districts.  For example, commercial operations under 2,500 square-feet are allowed by CEO permit in both zones.  Those over 2,500 square-feet are allowed with planning board approval in both districts.  This means that commercial uses are allowed in a large part of town. 

 

The present requirements in the Rural District require that commercial and industrial facilities in excess of 2,500 square-feet and/or that employ more than six full-time employees have a 250-foot set back from the edge of the public right-of-way.   This mitigates some of the impacts of such developments on rural areas, as do landscaped buffer requirements.   These provisions, however, still allow commercial development to take place through out the Rural District and could lead to further sprawl. 

 

There is little variation in minimum lot size requirements throughout the town. There is a one-acre requirement for the Rural District and for inland areas in the General Development District the minimum is 20,000 square-feet without public sewer and 10,000 square-feet with public sewer.   These zoning standards make it easy for sprawl to occur since there are few provisions to discourage development outside of existing built-up areas. 

 

The Grindstone area is presently zoned Residential Recreation.  This zone allows single family homes and home occupations.  It does not allow any commercial uses. These standards are important in protecting this area of high-value summer homes from incompatible uses.  Due to cold weather water supply problems (pipes freezing near the surface), this area is not suited for extensive year-round residential and commercial development.

 

7.         A Review of Options to Minimize Sprawl and Protect Natural Resources

 

The State Planning Office’s objections to the 1993 plan focused on the plan’s inadequate measures to protect natural, forest and historical resources.  The SPO also objected to what it believed were inadequate measures to discourage growth in rural areas.   This section reviews some options that the town could implement to address these objections and also promote smart growth.

 

As mentioned in the analysis of current land use regulations, the zoning ordinance makes little distinction between standards in the various inland zones.  One specific option would be to restrict areas where commercial development other than home occupations and natural resource-based operations would be allowed.  This would involve establishing separate zones for commercial and residential uses in presently rural areas.  Areas zoned commercial should be restricted to avoid commercial-type sprawl.

 

It would be possible to address the objections through a combination of measures to protect rural resources.  One alternative would be through subdivision review standards that give the planning board the option to require that the subdivision applicant prepare a natural resource assessment and engage in lot layout practices that minimized the impact of the development on key natural resources.  Another possibility would be standards that require that subdivision lot front on an interior road rather than on an existing road.  This would reduce the number of curb cuts onto existing roads.

 

The subdivision standards could also require that there be a vegetative buffer between the existing road and the new development.  Some towns have enacted a 40-foot buffer and required that existing trees be preserved as much as possible.  Such measures help mitigate the visual impact of a development on surrounding properties.

 

Other protection measures could be addressed through the town’s zoning ordinance.  For example, lot sizes could be larger in rural areas and sensitive land features, such as slopes over 15 percent and very poorly drained soils not be counted toward the minimum lot size requirements.  The town could implement cluster development standards that lead to more open space being preserved.  Some towns have required that the cluster development approach be used in developments over a certain threshold of units.  Others require that applicants submit an initial sketch plan showing a proposed development as both a cluster and a conventional development.  Clusters have been proven most effective when at least a ten-lot development is involved.

 

The town may also want to require a greater building setback from existing roads in rural areas than it does in growth areas.  This helps mitigate the impact of single lot development that is not subject to subdivision review.  It may also want to consider a lower maximum building height limitation than the current 40-foot requirement in rural areas.  This would be particularly important in areas with scenic views.

 

8.         Areas for Business Development

 

Retail development is more likely to occur either along the Route 186 or in the village area.  Retail uses rely on visibility and easy access by potential customers.  Manufacturing operations and uses such as research and development facilities do not require as much visibility and may be located further from the main roads in town. 

 

One possibility would be development of a business park jointly with the town of Gouldsboro on adjoining land.  This could offer larger operations an opportunity to locate on a site with well-developed utilities and that had an attractive appearance.   Any effort to restrict larger scale development in some parts of town could be balanced by incentives to make it more attractive for such development to locate elsewhere.


L.  SUMMARY AND REGIONAL ISSUES

 

1.         Purpose

 

This section summarizes the findings of the Inventory and Analysis and identifies the key local and regional issues that Winter Harbor faces.   It aims to accomplish the following:

 

a.         Identify the primary local issues;

 

b.         Summarize the individual sections of the Inventory and Analysis; and

 

c.         Identify the key regional issues.

 

2.         Primary Local Issues

 

Winter Harbor faces the challenge of coping with a decline in its year-round population in a county whose population increased by 10 percent in the previous decade and faces continued rapid growth of both its seasonal and year-round population.  This means it must focus on the immediate need to address the fiscal and municipal service issues brought on by the loss of the Navy-related population while also preparing for long term growth of its seasonal and retirement age population.  It also needs to protect its working waterfront.

 

In order to sustain its year-round population of working age, it needs to work with its neighbors on job creation endeavors.  Since it has not experienced much development-related sprawl to date, it has an opportunity to enact measures to minimize sprawl from occurring.   This is important since there are some large tracts of vacant land that could be developed in the future.

 

3.         Inventory and Analysis Summary

 

Each chapter of the Inventory and Analysis is summarized below.  The summary is a verbatim copy of the Key Findings and Issues section of each chapter.

 

a.         Population

 

Winter Harbor is one of the few towns in Hancock County to lose population between 1990 and 2000, when it experienced a 15 percent decrease in its year-round population. This is due primarily to the Navy base closing.  Its 2000 population was 988, further population decreases have occurred since the complete closing of the base.  Local officials estimate the 2003 year-round population at 500.

 

 

b.         Economy

 

            The closing of the Navy base has changed the economic base of the town.  The full impact of these changes on the economy is just beginning to be registered in government statistics.  However, the reuse of the main Naval facility as an educational research campus, the marketing of the Naval housing and the general growth of the Hancock County economy, mean that the employment situation for residents is likely to improve.

 

c.         Housing

 

            Winter Harbor has a much higher proportion of rental units than does Hancock County as whole.   Since the closure of the naval facilities, many units formerly rented to Navy personnel are now rented to other tenants.  However, the total number of homes in town increased from 515 to 558 between 1990 and 2000.  While housing purchase prices are below the county median, incomes are also lower.  The median household income is insufficient to purchase the median priced house.

 

d.         Transportation

 

Winter Harbor’s transportation system is generally in good condition.  There are, however, major problems with the downtown sidewalks and parking at times of peak use.  The Route 186 Scenic Byway designation should lead to further improvements along this road. Year-round ferry service to MDI would help enhance the reuse of the Navy housing.

 

e.         Public Services and Facilities

 

Winter Harbor faces several challenges with its public facilities and services. The situation may be aggravated by the closure of the naval facilities. For example, the water district will experience a drop in revenue unless new uses are found for the Naval housing with comparable demand for water.  Regardless of the level of water demand, the district will have to replace some aging mains.  The fire department, already facing an overcrowded and inadequate building, will lose some of its volunteers and may face the expense of protecting vacant properties presently protected by the Navy.

 

The town has the potential to share more services with the adjoining town of Gouldsboro if some logistical issues can be addressed.  Potential areas of cooperation include police and fire protection and the schools.  The overall status of municipal services in Winter Harbor will remain uncertain until naval facility reuse plans are finalized.

 

f.          Recreation

 

As a community hosting a portion of Acadia National Park, Winter Harbor residents have easy access to unspoiled open space.   One major recreational need facing the town is improving its public access points to salt water.  The town could also benefit from developing the SERC (Schoodic Education Research Center) site for low intensity recreation.

 

g.         Marine Resources

 

The harbor area is overcrowded.  There is inadequate parking and a waiting list for moorings.  The harbor also needs dredging.  There are insufficient tidal flats in Winter Harbor to allow for productive worming and clamming.  The high demand for shorefront property may make it difficult to retain the town’s working waterfront.

 

h.         Resource Inventory

 

The town has a number of rare plants and valuable wildlife habitats, which are largely protected by their location in Acadia National Park or on islands protected by conservation easements.  There are no working farms in town.  The majority of the town (perhaps 90 percent) is forested and about 3,300 acres are held in tree growth taxation.  Birch Harbor Pond is the only great Pond in town and its drainage area is protected by conservation restrictions. 

 

i.          Historical Resources

 

While the town has many buildings and sites of historical interest, only the Egg Rock and Winter Harbor light stations and Hammond Hall are on the National Register of Historic Places.  There is clearly the potential to place many other sites on the register.   There are also several historic archaeological shipwreck sites and some pre-historic Native American shell middens.

 

j.          Fiscal Capacity

 

            Winter Harbor has a limited tax base.  The fiscal situation of the town has worsened since the closing of the naval facilities.   The decrease in population means that it is more costly to provide for services such as schools and public water and sewer.

 

k.         Land Use

 

While the number of year-round and second homes in Winter Harbor between 1990 and 2000 increased by 8 percent, the town experienced a 15 percent decrease in its year-round population.    The town thus needs to plan for growth at the same time that it faces economic changes due to the closure of the Navy Base. 

 

The downtown area has many buildings of high historic value and offers some scenic views.  These are strong assets that could help attract future growth to the village.  There are also, however, some blighted buildings, sidewalks in poor repair and storm water drainage problems.   The town presently has few measures to discourage sprawl in rural areas and encourage development in the village.

 

4.         Key Regional Issues

 

            Winter Harbor needs to take an active role in Schoodic area economic development activities if it is to sustain and increase its year-round population of working age.  One specific example is working with the town of Gouldsboro on development of a joint business/industrial park.   There is also potential for the two towns to increase sharing of emergency services and education.

 

            The town needs to address some of its transportation issues on a regional basis.  It has already benefited from the regional cooperation that has sustained the Route 186 Scenic Byway designation.  Further cooperation will be needed to implement the next steps in the byway process.  Also, sustaining and expanding the ferry and bus services will require the town working with its neighbors.

 

            There is also great potential for the town to coordinate its land use planning with Gouldsboro.  For example, the lack of municipal water and sewer systems in Gouldsboro makes it difficult to develop growth areas in that town.  At the same time, Winter Harbor’s sewer and water systems have ample excess capacity.  Similarly, land in Winter Harbor is generally unsuitable for a business/industrial park, while Route 1 in Gouldsboro offers good access for such a park.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PART II

 

A. Goals, Objectives and

            Implementation Strategies

 

B. Future Land Use Plan


 

II.A.  GOALS AND OBJECTIVES

 

1.         Purpose

 

            This section presents the goals and objectives for the comprehensive plan update.  The goals set the general direction that the town wishes to go and are followed by more specific objectives.  The implementation strategies describe the detailed steps necessary to carry out each objective. As will be seen, these goals and objectives are highly interrelated.  While this plan contains some very specific recommendations, residents are reminded that planning is an on-going process.  To assure flexibility in the event of unforeseen circumstances, periodic review and updating of these goals is necessary. 

 

2.         Overall Goal

 

Winter Harbor aims to be a community with a thriving economic base while also protecting its natural resources and small town character that assure its quality of life.  It wishes to be a year-round community of all age groups where its young people can find both jobs and moderately priced housing so that they will remain in the town when they reach adulthood.  The town also aims to preserve its seasonal population.

 

3.         Population

 

Winter Harbor aims to restore its lost population and promote a community with a diversity of age groups.  This shall be accomplished by the following measures:

 

            a.         aggressive marketing of the vacant Navy housing units; and

 

b.                  working with the town of Gouldsboro to have the Winter Harbor village area become the primary growth area for both towns.

 

Implementation Strategy: 3.a: This is a continuation of current efforts; 3.b: This is addressed in the Land Use Goals and Objectives and the Future Land Use Plan

 

4.         Economic Development

 

Winter Harbor aims to be part of a diverse economy that offers year-round employment opportunities with well paying jobs.  The plan recommends the following specific steps:

 

a.         Assist local entrepreneurs and small businesses through the aggressive use of small business assistance and counseling services.  One focus of the effort will be to determine what spin-off services may be needed by the SERC facility;

 

b.         Undertake a downtown revitalization program that, among other things, assists and promotes local businesses (see related goals under Downtown Revitalization);

 

c.         Support efforts of local and regional education institutions to provide job training programs;

 

d.         Support measures to maintain Winter Harbor’s fishing community (see related goals under Marine Resources);

 

e.         Undertake development of a joint business park with Gouldsboro (see related goals under Preserving Rural Character and Minimizing Sprawl):

 

f.          Support regional economic development efforts in both the Schoodic area and Hancock County as a whole.

 

Implementation Strategy:  General: Select board appoints an economic development committee to oversee all economic development ventures.  4.a the committee works with the Coastal Acadia Development Corporation and the Eastern Maine Development Corporation to learn what resources are available and how these might be promoted; 4.b: see Downtown Revitalization goal; 4.c The town continues its support for relevant educational programs in the annual school budget; 4.d see Marine Resources goals; 4.e:  some members of the economic development committee are appointed to a joint committee with Gouldsboro to oversee the joint grant funding, construction and marketing of the park; and 4.f the town continues its involvement in groups such as Schoodic Futures and the Coastal Acadia Development Corporation.

Responsible party/deadline:  The economic development committee takes the lead.   While most of these strategies are on-going, the town aims to have an inter-local agreement on the joint business park ready by the 2005 town meetings in both towns.

 

5.         Housing

 

The plan supports measures to promote affordable, safe and decent housing for all residents while avoiding having a disproportionate share of the region’s affordable housing.  This shall be accomplished by the following measures:

 

a.         seeking grant funds for the rehabilitation of substandard units presently occupied by households of low to moderate income;

 

b.                  completing the marketing of any vacant Navy housing to new tenants  and monitoring who is buying these units.  If it appears that a shortage of housing affordable to persons of low to moderate income is developing, the plan recommends that the town create a housing committee to explore other options.  This could be done in conjunction with the downtown revitalization endeavor, which will involve other measures to make the downtown more attractive (such as infrastructure and landscaping improvements)  to future private and public investment;

 

c.                   assuring that mobile home parks are allowed in appropriate areas of town in a manner that is consistent with state law; and

 

d.         undertaking measures to increase the number of year-round, first time homebuyer opportunities and explore options to promote the conversion of some rental properties to purchase opportunities.

 

Implementation Strategy: 5.a: The select board will contact regional groups such as the Hancock County Planning Commission and the Washington Hancock Community Agency for guidance in seeking housing improvement grant funds: 5.b: see 3.a above and the select board establishes housing sub-committee as part of the downtown revitalization committee; 5.c: this is addressed through the Future Land Use Plan 5.d:  The select board contacts groups such as the Maine State Housing Authority and the Washington Hancock Community Agency for guidance in determining the best approach

Responsible party/deadline:  select board: 5.a: the town aims to apply in 2005; 5.b: see 3.a; and select board/2005 5.c: 2004

 

6.         Public Services and Facilities and Transportation

 

Winter Harbor aims to assure its residents and businesses adequate public facilities and services while also respecting the limitations of the tax base.   As much as possible, it aims to have an orderly transition from the closing of the Navy Base and promote shared services with surrounding towns whenever proven equitable and cost-effective for all parties involved.  This shall be accomplished through the following objectives:

 

6.1       Public Water Supply

The comprehensive plan supports the continued upgrade of the water system through the following measures:

 

a.                   Continued replacement of water mains that are too small to handle current water flow requirements:

 

b.                  Undertaking measures to improve the old standpipe such as re-coating the inside and outside and removing the rust; and

 

c.                   Enacting a well head protection overlay zone around the water source for the system.

 

Implementation Strategy: a-b: The select board recommends town meeting support for all grants and loans necessary to fund these improvements.  The Water District Trustees explore various funding sources including but not limited to, USDA Rural Development, the State Drinking Water Revolving Loan Fund and the Community Development Block Grant program, with help from regional and state agencies experienced in grant writing.   These improvements shall be coordinated with sewer and street improvement projects to avoid repeated traffic disruptions during construction and street reconstruction. c: the planning board recommends to the town meeting adoption of the well head protection zone standards

Responsible party/deadline:  a-b: Water District trustees/on-going c: planning board/2005 town meeting

 

6.2       Education

The town aims to provide its young people with an adequate range of educational opportunities in a manner affordable to tax payers.  Unless the loss of student enrollment resulting from the closure of the Naval facilities is replaced by new users of the base housing or an increase in enrollment due to other causes, the plan recommends that the Winter Harbor and Gouldsboro Grammar Schools be merged.  It is important that a decision on the future of the schools be made before the 2004-2005 school year when the projected surplus covering school operating costs is expected to be exhausted.  If this surplus should exhaust itself sooner or later than expected, the time of the decision shall be adjusted accordingly.

 

Implementation Strategy:       The school committees in both towns continue to explore options.

Responsible party/deadline:  school committees/2004-2005

 

6.3       Roads and Public Works

The comprehensive plan supports an efficient and safe roads and public works system through the following measures:  

 

a.                   addressing serious stormwater drainage deficiencies on the town’s streets and sidewalks;

 

b.                  supporting the implementation of the Route 186 Scenic Byway including the installation of bicycle shoulders;

 

c.                   undertaking steps to promote safe bicycle passage on town ways whenever possible;

 

d.                  promoting sound highway access management policies through measures such as encouraging businesses to have shared highway access and otherwise reducing the number of potential curb cuts along major roads such as Route 186;

 

e.                   establishing a schedule for improving town roads that are presently deficient such as, but not limited to, Forest Avenue, Grindstone Avenue, Summer Harbor Road, Meadow Lane and Bellview Road.  The schedule shall also address roads identified by the fire department as being too narrow to allow safe passage of fire fighting equipment such as portions of School Street; and

 

f.                    in the interests of encouraging growth in growth areas (designated in the future land use plan), enacting a street acceptance policy that requires that new streets in growth area built to town standards be accepted as town ways and that new subdivision streets in the rural areas (designated in the future land use plan) not be accepted as town ways.

 

Implementation Strategy: a-e The town will establish a capital improvements program that identifies specific improvements anticipated for a given year and lists possible funding sources to address those needs that are town responsibility.    These shall include adequate provision for safe bicycle passage on roads that presently have or are expected to have a high volume of bicycle traffic.  Funding for improvements in the downtown area are recommended to be sought as part of a CDBG downtown improvement grant.  Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT) grants shall also be explored.  The local road access improvements will be addressed through changes to Winter Harbor’s land use ordinances.   The Downeast RC&D will be contacted to help identify other potential funding sources. f. these changes would be addressed in the land use ordinance revision process

Responsible party/deadline: The selectmen will appoint a capital improvement committee to recommend specific improvements on a yearly basis.  A preliminary capital investment program is included in this plan. e. planning board 2004-2005

 

6.4       Fire Protection

The plan supports an adequate level of fire protection and first responder services through the following measures:

 

a.         replacing the current fire station with a new facility in Winter Harbor.

 

b.         assuring regular replacement of fire fighting equipment such as new trucks;

 

c.         assuring that funding for regular maintenance, acquisition of safety equipment and the training needed to meet NFPA requirements is adequate, including for compensating volunteers for training and call-up time;.

 

d.         Continuing with recently expanded mutual aid arrangements with the town of Gouldsboro and those with the National Park Service.

 

e..        Sharing a paid administrative person with the town of Gouldsboro and possibly other towns.  This person would handle the required training, routine paperwork and assist in inspections; and

 

f.          undertaking measures to merge the Winter Harbor and Gouldsboro fire departments or at least increasing the sharing of fire fighters and EMT’s.

 

Implementation Strategy:   The capital acquisitions will be addressed through the capital improvement plan. The staffing and training needs will be met through funding of the annual fire department operations budget.  The increased sharing of resources with Gouldsboro shall be accomplished by on-going meetings of the two departments and preparation of a joint strategic plan.    

Responsible party/deadline: Fire department for annual input to the capital improvement plan and meetings with the Gouldsboro department.  The plan recommends that the joint strategic plan be prepared by 2005.

 

6.5       Public Sewage Disposal

The plan supports the safe and efficient operation of the sanitary sewer system.  Specifically, it supports the replacement of the older mains, which are presently in fair condition particularly on Newman Street and Forest Avenue.  It also supports addressing infiltration problems along School Street.

 

Implementation Strategy:  The sewer district, with select board approval, seeks grant/loan funds from sources such as, but not limited to,  USDA-Rural Development and the Community Development Block Grant program to fund the necessary improvements.  This project will be coordinated with the water system improvements and anticipated road repairs in the downtown to avoid repeated disruptions of traffic and street reconstruction.

Responsible party/deadline:  Sewer District trustees/ The actual timeline shall be determined in conjunction with other downtown road and utility improvements.

 

6.6       Municipal Buildings

The plan supports the upgrade or replacement of the town office facility to allow more room for meetings and other town government functions.  Specifically, the town shall explore options for town office space at any vacated naval facilities or the grammar school if it is no longer needed for educational purposes.   The plan also recommends that the town explore the feasibility of a combined fire, police and town office facility for Winter Harbor.

 

Implementation Strategy:  The select board, in conjunction with fire and police personnel, explores various buildings and sites and assesses their suitability.

Responsible party/deadline:  The select board (lead party)./ As various buildings become vacant or suitable sites are found.

 


6.7       Police Protection

The plan supports the adequate and cost-effective provision of police protection services.  In order to provide the police department with adequate office space and staffing, the plan recommends that Winter Harbor and Gouldsboro investigate the merger of their two departments and explore other ways that facilities, vehicles, equipment and staff can be shared.

 

Implementation Strategy:  The two towns create a joint police commission to oversee the feasibility of a merger and, if proven feasible, undertake the measures necessary for a merger.

Responsible party/deadline: Select board recommends creation of a commission to the town meeting and, if approved, appoint members to the commission/2003-2004

 

6.8       Ferry Service

In the interests of providing boat commuter traffic opportunities, the plan supports the expansion of the Winter Harbor-MDI ferry service to attract off-season commuter traffic to and from Mount Desert Island. 

 

Implementation Strategy:    The select board arranges a meeting with officials from the  Maine Department of Transportation to explore options to expand this service 

Responsible party/deadline:  Select board/by 2004

 

6.9              Scenic Byway Implementation

The plan supports the implementation of the Route 186 Scenic Byway.  This is accomplished by measures found throughout this plan (see also Appendix II).  Specific measures include:

 

a.                   access management:  (goal 6.3 and Future Land Use Plan that restricts commercial development along much of road);

 

b.                  Bicycle and pedestrian safety:  (goal 6.3);

 

c.                   Scenic view preservation: (Goal 10);

 

d.                  Historical resources preservation; (Goal 9)

 

7.         Marine Resources and Harbor Management:

 

Winter Harbor aims to manage its marine resources in a sustainable manner.  It wishes to preserve its commercial fishing community while also allowing recreational boating opportunities.   These goals shall be accomplished through the following objectives:

 

7.1       Marine Water Quality

Winter Harbor aims to minimize any threats to marine water quality and upgrade current conditions in the harbor.  Specific steps include:

 

a.          working with the DEP to eliminate any remaining overboard discharges;

 

b.         assuring that town regulations sufficiently protect water quality in marine watersheds through land development review standards that consider storm water runoff, extent of impervious surface and other non-point sources of pollution;

 

c.          assuring that new parking areas and other harbor development measures are designed in a way that minimizes stormwater runoff;

 

d.         enacting measures that regulate boat washing and other activities that may cause water contamination;

 

e.          assuring adequate enforcement of existing and proposed town ordinances and regulations affecting water quality; and

 

f.           assuring that the wastewater treatment plant continues to be maintained adequately.

 

Implementation Strategy: This will involve the following measures: 7.1.a the select board contacts the DEP to ascertain the steps that need to be taken and seeking appropriate funds if necessary; 7.1 b & c. through revisions to the town’s land use ordinances and assuring that all town facilities meet these standards; 7.2.d. through revisions to town harbor ordinance; 7.1.e. assuring adequate hours for the code enforcement officer and harbor master; and 7.1.f by town support for sewage treatment plant improvement grants.  

Responsible party/deadline: The select board will initiate all recommended actions except those pertaining to land use ordinances changes, which will be the planning board’s responsibility and the harbor ordinance, which will be the responsibility of the harbor committee/These will occur on an on-going basis with the exception of the land use ordinance revisions, which have a target completion date of 2005.

 

7.2.      Water Dependent Uses

Winter Harbor aims to protect its water dependent uses such as boat yards, piers and town landings from incompatible development by incorporating appropriate standards for these areas into its shoreland zoning ordinance as a Commercial Fisheries Maritime Activities zone (see also the Future Land Use Plan).

 

Implementation Strategy:  The planning board will prepare the necessary changes to the ordinance and submit them to town meeting vote.

Responsible party/deadline: Planning board/2005

 

7.3       Shellfish Restoration

The plan recommends that town officials work with the Maine Department of Marine Resources to determine what steps are necessary to open areas currently closed to shell fishing and to explore shellfish seeding operations in newly opened areas.

 

Implementation Strategy:  The harbor committee or its designee contacts the Department of Marine Resources.

Responsible party/deadline: Select board./2004-2008

 

7.4       Preservation of the Fishing Community

It is town policy to promote the preservation of commercial fishing in Winter Harbor.  This shall be accomplished through the following measures:

 

a.                   assuring that mooring plans provide adequate space for commercial fishing boats by requiring that all such plans give priority to commercial fishing boats in the inner harbor;

 

b.                  designing all new docking and parking facilities in accordance with the needs of commercial fishing operations;

 

c.                   assuring that any town ordinances that regulate noise, operating hours, odors or other nuisances do not restrict operations that are essential to commercial fishing; and

 

d.                  working with regional and state economic development agencies to seek grant funds that support fisheries-based employment ventures.

 

Implementation Strategy:  The Harbor committee seeks funds to create an updated harbor plan to establish priorities for harbor improvement.  It coordinates its efforts with those of the planning board to revise town land use ordinances.

Responsible party/deadline: Harbor committee and planning board/2005 or when funds are available.

 

7.5       Harbor Development

It is town policy to promote the sound development of the town harbor so that both commercial and recreational boaters may enjoy it.  This shall be accomplished through the following specific steps:

 

a.                   undertaking measures to increase the number of parking spaces in the harbor area and assuring that these spaces remain available for those with a specific need for harbor access;

 

b.                  implementing a mooring plan to create additional mooring spaces;

 

c.                   include consideration of a breakwater for Henry’s Cove as an option to increase mooring space;

 

d.                  seeking funds for the dredging of the harbor and restoration of the beach area to the west of the town dock; and

 

e.                   assuring that any Winter Harbor-Bar Harbor water taxi be operated in a manner that minimizes conflicts with commercial fishing operations.     

 

Implementation Strategy:  The harbor committee oversees development of a harbor management plan that addresses these concerns.  Those aspects of the plan that address parking and the water taxi service will be coordinated with other down town improvement planning and the seasonal bus service.

Responsible party/deadline:  harbor committee/2004

 

7.6       Public Access

It is town policy to promote adequate public access to salt water.  The top priority is development of boat ramp improvements at the head of Henry’s Cove that allow launching under more tidal conditions than presently possible and provide adequate public parking for vehicles and boat trailers nearby.

 

Implementation Strategy:  The town authorizes the select board to seek matching grant funds for this purpose.

Responsible party/deadline: select board/ first relevant grant round after the plan is adopted.

 

8.                  Recreation

 

The plan recommends that the town promote a range of recreation opportunities that respect the limitations of the town budget and the availability of volunteers.  This shall be accomplished through the following specific steps:

 

a.                   working with the National Park Service to encourage the use of the former NSGA Moose Island (Schoodic Education Research Center, SERC) property as a public recreational  facility in a manner that is compatible with National Park Service plans; and

 

b.                  assuring that any school consolidation plans make provision for adequate recreational facilities and programs for school-aged children.

 

Implementation Strategy:  8.a, The select board contacts the Park Service to explore options for increased access to the Moose Island/SERC property.  8.b, This will occur as the school committees discuss consolidation options.

Responsible party/deadline:  Select board and school committees/The Moose Island contacts will proceed immediately, the school recreation contacts will be coordinated with other school consolidation plans.

 

9.         Historic and Archaeological Resources

 

The plan promotes the protection and enhancement of its historic, prehistoric and archaeological resources through the following measures:

 

a.                   Ask the historical society to undertake a program to have eligible properties placed on the National Register of Historic Places.  This would involve conducting an above ground survey of these buildings.  Priority shall be given to buildings in the village area so as to complement other downtown revitalization measures; and

 

b.                  Revising the land use ordinances to require that:

 

(1.)      subdivision and site plan applicants be required to identify major known historical and pre-historical features in their application material and that this information be used by the planning board in determining if changes are needed in site layout, building footprints and the timing of construction in order to allow a more thorough assessment of relevant features;  and

 

(2.)      revise the zoning ordinance to require that the current provision for the shoreland districts that the notification of the Maine Historic Preservation Commission of any proposed structural development or soil disturbance adjacent to a site either listed or with the potential to be listed on the National Register of Historic Places be made applicable to inland districts as well.

 

Implementation Strategy:  9.a: the comprehensive plan committee contacts the historical society and asks it to initiate the survey with technical guidance from the Maine Historic Preservation Commission; 9.b: This will be accomplished through revisions to the land use ordinances.

Responsible party/deadline:  9.a the comprehensive planning  committee and historical society by 2006; 9.b: the planning board by 2006

 

10.       Natural Resources

 

Winter Harbor aims to protect and enhance its natural and scenic resources through the following specific measures:

 

a.                   keep areas of valuable wildlife habitat not presently protected by conservation easements or by their location in Acadia National Park as rural in the Future Land Use Plan;

 

b.                  provide the planning board with both electronic and hard copies of the Beginning with Habitat maps so that it has access to sound information on key natural areas in town; and

 

c.                   revise the land use ordinances to require that subdivision and site plan review applicants be required:

 

(1.)      to identify key habitat areas and other relevant natural resource information, including scenic areas, in the material submitted to the planning board; and

 

(2.)      to give the planning board the explicit authority to require that the applicant have a natural resources and/or scenic assessment prepared in the event that a key natural or scenic resource specifically mentioned in the comprehensive plan is likely, in the opinion of the planning board, to be threatened..  This assessment would describe in detail the key natural and scenic resources located on the property (see also Preserving Rural Character and Minimizing Sprawl Goals).  The assessment would be used to decide if changes are needed to lot layouts, building foot prints, vegetative buffer requirements, proposed removal of trees by developer, placement of roads, drainage arrangements and other built features in order to minimize adverse impacts on key natural and scenic resources.

 

Implementation Strategy:10.a: this is accomplished through the Future Land Use Plan;10.b:  The planning board contacts the Hancock County Planning Commission and asks for copies of the latest maps;10.c: this is accomplished through the land use ordinance revisions

Responsible party/deadline:  the planning board, by 2005

 

11.       Water Resources

 

The plan supports the sound conservation of Winter Harbor’s surface and ground water resources through the following measures to protect water quality and quantity:

 

a.                   Enacting a wellhead protection overlay zone around the water source for the water district (see Goal 6.1. c and Future Land Use Plan); and

 

b.                   Adding phosphorus loading standards to the subdivision and site plan review ordinances for the Birch Harbor Pond lake watershed that follow the standards recommended in the DEP manual Phosphorus Control in Lake Watersheds: A Technical Guide to Evaluating New Development (as amended).  These standards will set a “high” level of protection for this watershed per the manual’s standards;

 

c.                   Retaining the current shoreland zoning standards as overlay zones except where otherwise noted in this plan;

 

d.                  Retaining the current ownership of the lake watershed by the water district in order to assure that no new development takes place there;

 

e.                   Retaining the current flood plain management ordinance and updating it when an update is recommended by the state floodplain management staff; and

 

f.                    Revising the land use ordinance to enact stormwater runoff measures that minimize non-point source pollution, erosion and sedimentation from all earth disturbance activities. (See Goal 14.3.d)

 

Implementation Strategy: 11.a: (see Goal 6.1c); 11.b-c & d-f:  these will be accomplished through the land use ordinance revisions. 11.c: continuation of current policy

Responsible party/deadline:   planning board/2005 1.e will be done when advised by the State Planning Office flood plain management staff

 

12.    Agricultural and Forest Resources

 

The plan supports the protection of Winter Harbor’s agricultural and forest resources through the measures outlined below:

 

a.                   including areas of prime forest in the rural areas as designated in the Future Land Use Plan;

 

b.                  requiring the retention of 75-foot forested buffers along those portions of Route 186 that are in designated rural areas and are presently forested;

 

c.                   enacting timber harvesting standards for the Birch Pond watershed that minimize erosion and stormwater runoff; and

 

d.                  supporting efforts of land trusts to acquire conservation easements in prime forested areas; and

 

e.                   supporting efforts to promote area agriculture such as the marketing of locally grown foods.

 

Implementation Strategy: 12.a: this is addressed through the Future Land Use Plan;  12.b: this is addressed through the proposed land use ordinance amendments; 12.c this is addressed through the land use ordinance revisions; 12.d after the adoption of the plan, the planning board contacts area land trusts; 12.e: local restaurants continue their participation in the locally grown foods program and the town supports any future regional grant applications through letters of support.

Responsible party/deadline: 12.b: the planning board by 2005; 12.c. the planning board in consultation with the Maine Forest Service; 12.d: local restaurants and select boards, on-going.

 

13.       Downtown Revitalization

 

Winter Harbor aims to have its downtown be a thriving part of the community and be an attractive place for people to live, shop and recreate.  The town shall undertake measures that enhance the attractiveness of the downtown area for future private investment and that eliminate blighted conditions.   The plan recommends that the town undertake a comprehensive downtown revitalization program.  Specific steps in that program are discussed below. (NOTE: The implementation strategies for this entire section are at the end of this section.).

 

13.1     Enhancement of Buildings

The plan supports the following measures to protect and enhance buildings in the downtown area:

 

a.                   Seeking grant or loan funds to upgrade substandard buildings that are capable of economical repair and to acquire and demolish structures that are beyond repair. Also seek funds for a commercial building façade improvement program; and

 

b.                  Working with interested land owners to have structures with high historic value placed on the National Register of Historic Places.

 

13.2     Signage

In order to assure that signs in the downtown area are compatible with its historic and village character, the plan recommends that separate sign standards be enacted for this area.  Recommended standards would include a maximum size related to the likely vehicle speed in the area so that signs will be smaller where traffic passes at a slower speed and the use of wood and other materials compatible with the character of the downtown rather than plastic.

 

13.3     Sidewalks

The plan recommends that the town enact a comprehensive sidewalk installation and upgrade program for all of the streets in the downtown area except for those dead-end streets that have a very low volume of traffic.  This program shall be coordinated with the street and stormwater drainage improvement program.

 

13.4     Parking

The plan recommends that the town undertake the following measures to assure adequate and safe parking in the downtown:

 

a.                   developing new public parking areas that are in walking distance of areas that presently have a shortage of spaces;

 

b.                  improving signage that indicates the location of existing parking areas;

 

c.                   eliminating unsafe gullies between the edges of streets and sidewalks; and

 

d.                  assuring that any changes to land use ordinances recognize that off-street requirements, while appropriate for rural and highway areas, are generally not practical for the downtown area if other parking areas are available for use within walking distance.

 

13.5     Green Space and Landscaping

It shall be town policy to promote a downtown with adequate green space and plantings of trees and other vegetation.  This shall be accomplished through the following specific steps:

 

a.                   undertaking a tree planting program along major downtown streets in coordination with sidewalk and drainage improvements in a manner that does not interfere with traffic flow or safety;

 

b.                  installing flower and bush plantings in front of public buildings and at other locations such as intersections where tree planting might not be possible due to the need to preserve sight distances; and

 

c.                   creating small village mini parks on some vacant lots that do not appear likely to be redeveloped for other uses.

 

13.6     Zoning Changes

In order to facilitate the development of the downtown area, the plan recommends the following changes to the zoning ordinance:

 

a.                   create a separate Main Street zone that would have less stringent lot frontage and set back standards than the General Development District; and

 

b.                  allow buildings along the built-up portion of Main Street to have a ten-foot side lot setback.

 

13.7     Bicycle and Pedestrian Facilities

The town aims to have the downtown remain friendly to bicyclists and pedestrians through the following measures:

 

a.                   assuring that street reconstruction plans reflect, whenever possible, the need for separation of bicycle, pedestrian and motor vehicle travel areas;

 

b.                  installing bike racks in the downtown area;

 

c.                   assure that there are drinking water fountains and rest rooms available to the public in the downtown area; and

 

d.                  assuring that signs on Route 186 and Acadia National Park indicate that there are bicycle routes that pass through the downtown area.

 

Implementation Strategy:  the town seeks, in conjunction with the town of Gouldsboro, CDBG funds for a downtown revitalization study to address the details.  The select board appoints a downtown committee to oversee the entire effort.  This will occur concurrent with the drafting of revisions to the land use ordinance and harbor development plans.

Responsible party/deadline:  select board and downtown committee /2004-2005

 

14.       Preserving Rural Character and Minimizing Sprawl

 

Winter Harbor aims to preserve the character of its rural areas and to minimize the occurrence of sprawl.  It encourages most future growth to locate either in the village area or in other areas with high potential for growth.  It encourages the preservation of its rural areas primarily for forestry and low intensity recreational uses with some low-density residential uses.  These goals shall be accomplished through the following specific measures (implementation strategies follow):

 

14.1     Commercial Zoning

The plan recommends that commercial uses other than home occupations and natural resource-based operations such as saw mills be restricted to limited portions of the Route 186 corridor, the downtown area and the proposed business park in Gouldsboro.

 

14.2     Cluster Zoning Provisions

 

In order to create additional incentives for developers to use the cluster zoning provisions, the following measures are recommended:

 

a.                   Require that residential subdivisions with ten or more units use cluster development provisions;

 

b.                  Require that all residential development  in the Rural Conservation Zone that does not use the cluster option be required to contribute to an open space preservation fund.  This fund shall be used to contribute matching funds to purchase land conservation or scenic view easements.  The fee shall be on a sliding scale based on the number of lots and shall not exceed more than five percent of the fair market value of the lot. The fee shall be assessed at the time a building permit for new residential construction is issued.;

 

c.                   Offer a density bonus of 20 percent to subdivisions in growth areas that use the cluster option.  This would allow the developer to build 20 percent more units than otherwise allowed if water supply and wastewater disposal arrangements were proven adequate; and

 

d.                  Require that the open space preserved in the cluster development consist of space that is of value as recreational and open space land and not be land that would not be developable due to the presence of steep slopes and very poorly drained soils.  Whenever possible, the open space should be visible from the existing town road so that a rural appearance and scenic vistas are maintained.

 

14.3     Subdivision Ordinance Revisions

The plan recommends that the following revisions be made to the subdivision ordinance:

 

a.                   Require that major subdivisions (4 or more lots), under most circumstances, have lots front on an interior road rather than on an existing town way or state highway;

 

b.                  require a 40-foot minimum vegetative buffer between an existing public road the subdivided lots in rural areas.  The subdivision approval standards shall, to the extent practical, require the preservation of existing trees within this buffer:

 

c.                   give the planning board the option to have a developer prepare a natural resource assessment and require lot layout schemes that minimize the impact of the development on key natural resources and scenic areas; and

 

d.                  enact detailed stormwater runoff and sedimentation and erosion control standards.

 

14.4     Height Restrictions

In order to avoid overly tall homes being built, the plan recommends that the maximum building height for new construction in rural areas be reduced from 40 feet to 35 feet.

 

14.5     Single Lot Standards in Rural Areas

The plan recommends that the building setback requirements for dwellings from existing roads in rural areas be increased from 25 feet to 40 feet and that lot coverage be limited to 20 percent.  It also recommends that all new lots have a minimum frontage of 150 feet if on an existing public road.   These standards shall not apply to lots fronting on private ways that will not be accepted by the town.

 

14.6          Land Conservation Areas

The plan recommends that Winter Harbor designate remote areas of town as very low density rural (the specific areas are indicated as Rural Conservation in the future land use plan).  This shall be accomplished through the following steps:

 

a.                   working with area land trusts to acquire conservation easements on key parcels in these areas.  This shall be accomplished by establishing a land conservation fund to match state and other land conservation monies.  This match shall be paid for with funds raised through the contributions from residential development in rural areas that does not use the cluster option (see Goal 14.2). Funds from the sale of tax-acquired property shall also be used for this purpose; and

 

b.                  setting a density limitation of one unit per ten acres for newly created lots from parcels that are over ten acres in size other than family lot transfers or single lot sales.  Individual lots may be as small as one acre but the overall density shall not exceed one lot per ten acres.

 

14.7     Creation of Business Park

The plan recommends that Winter Harbor and Gouldsboro undertake the creation of joint business park in Gouldsboro.

 

Implementation Strategy:  These changes will be addressed primarily through revisions to the land use ordinance.  The select board also needs to appoint a committee to work with local land trusts, set goals for land protection  and to oversee the land conservation fund. It is important to review how much land is being acquired on a yearly basis to assure that an excessive amount of land is not being protected in a given year. In order to create the business park, a separate economic development committee will be needed.  It would work with local and regional economic development authorities such as the Coastal Acadia Development Corporation and the Eastern Maine Development Corporation on the planning, funding, developing and marketing of the park (see related economic development goals and Future Land Use Plan).

Responsible party/deadline:  select board appoints an economic development committee by 2004 and the planning board undertakes the land use ordinance changes by 2004-2005.  The select board appoints a land trust committee by 2005 and gives it the mission of working with area land trusts and Acadia National Park.

 

15.       Fiscal Capacity

 

The plan supports the following measures to enhance the tax base and manage spending:

 

 

a.                   Increase sharing of municipal services with Gouldsboro and adjoining towns (see Public Services and Facilities and Transportation Goals);

 

b.                  Promote long-term capital investment planning by updating and using the capital investment plan;

 

c.                   Seek tax revenue producing uses for the former Navy housing;

 

Implementation Strategy:  15.a: This is addressed in the Public Services and Facilities and Transportation Goals; 15.b This is addressed in the Capital Investment Plan; 15.c: This is addressed through current marketing of the site;

 

16.       Regional Coordination Goal

 

            Winter Harbor encourages regional coordination when it is of mutual benefit to all parties involved.  Specific regional coordination recommendations were cited elsewhere in this section.  Rather than repeat them here, the appropriate policies are identified below.

 

SUMMARY OF POLICIES REQUIRING REGIONAL COORDINATION

 

Topic                                       Supporting Policies

Population

3.b

Economy

4.c, 4. e-4.f

Transportation

6.3, 6.8

Public Services and Facilities

6.2, 6.4,

Agricultural and Forest Resources

12.c

Land Use

13, 14.7

 


17.       Consistency of Winter Harbor’s Policies with the Sate Goals and Coastal Policies

 

            The Maine State Planning Office, per the requirements of the Growth Management Act, evaluates plans for their consistency with the ten growth management goals and the nine coastal policies.  The consistency of each state goal and policy with the policies of the Comprehensive Plan is summarized in the matrixes below.

 

MAINE'S GROWTH MANAGEMENT GOALS

1.         To encourage orderly growth and development in appropriate areas of each community, while protecting the State's rural character, making efficient use of public services and preventing development sprawl.

Related Policies:        13

 

2.         To plan for, finance and develop an efficient system of public facilities and services to accommodate anticipated growth and economic development.

Related Policies:        6

 

3.         To promote an economic climate that increases job opportunities and overall economic well being.

Related Policies: 4

 

4.         To encourage and promote affordable, decent housing opportunities for all Maine citizens.

Related Policies:        5

 

5.         To protect the quality and manage the quantity of the State's water resources, including lakes, aquifers, great ponds, estuaries, rivers and coastal areas.

Related Policies:        6.5, 7.1, 11

 

6.         To protect the State's other critical natural resources, including, without limitation, wetlands, wildlife and fisheries habitat, sand dunes, shore lands, scenic vistas, and unique natural areas.

Related Policies: 10.a-10.c

 

7.         To protect the State's marine resources industry, ports, and harbors from incompatible development, and to promote access to the shore for commercial fishermen and the public.

Related Policies: 7.1-7.6

 

8.         To safeguard the State's agricultural and forest resources from development which threatens those resources.

Related Policies:        12

 


9.         To preserve the State's historic and archeological resources.

Related Policies:        9

 

10.       To promote and protect the availability of outdoor recreation opportunities for all Maine citizens, including access to surface waters.

Related Policies: 8

 

 

 

MAINE'S COASTAL POLICIES

1.         Port and Harbor Development.  Promote the maintenance, development and revitalization of the State's ports and harbors for fishing, transportation and recreation.

Related Policies:        7.4 – 7.5

 

2.         Marine Resource Management.  Manage the marine environment and its related resources to preserve and improve the ecological integrity and diversity of marine communities and habitats, to expand our understanding of the productivity of the Gulf of Maine and coastal waters, and to enhance the economic value of the State's renewable marine resources.

Related Policies:        7.3, 7.4

 

3.         Shoreline Management and Access.  Support shoreline management that gives preference to water dependent uses over other uses, that promotes public access to the shoreline, and that considers the cumulative effects of development on coastal resources.

Related Policies:        7.2, 7.6

 

4.         Hazard Area Development.  Discourage growth and new development in coastal areas where, because of coastal storms, flooding, landslides or sea level rise, it is hazardous to human health and safety.

Related Policies:        (This is addressed through existing shoreland and floodplain ordinances)

 

5.         State and Local Cooperative Management.  Encourage and support cooperative state and municipal management of coastal resources.

Related Policies:        7.5

 

6.         Scenic and Natural Areas Protection.  Protect and manage critical habitat and natural areas of state and national significance and maintain the scenic beauty and character of the coast even in areas where development occurs.

Related Policies:        6.9, 10.a, 10.c

 

7.         Recreation and Tourism.  Expand the opportunities for outdoor recreation and encourage appropriate coastal tourist activities and development.

Related Policies:        8.a

 

8.         Water Quality.  Restore and maintain the quality of our fresh, marine and estuarine waters to allow for the broadest possible diversity of public and private uses.

Related Policies:        7.1

 

9.         Air Quality.  Restore and maintain coastal air quality to protect the health of citizens and visitors and to protect enjoyment of the natural beauty and maritime characteristics of the Maine coast.

Related Policies:        not applicable

 

 

18.  Capital Investment Plan

 

The capital investment plan (CIP) summarizes major capital expenditures that the town anticipates undertaking.  Like the rest of the comprehensive plan, the CIP is advisory in nature.  Final recommendations on funding each year are still made by the selectmen and budget committee and are subject to approval by town meeting vote.  Capital expenses are defined as items with a useful life of at least five years that cost at least $10,000.  They are distinct from operational expenditures such as fuel, minor repairs to buildings and salaries.

 

            Capital expenditures may be funded in several ways.  One is a single appropriation from a town meeting warrant article.  Another is annual contributions to a capital reserve fund.  A third is borrowing through bonds or loans.  A fourth is grants, which usually require a local match.

 

            Anticipated capital expenditures as of 2003 are shown on Table II.1.  These include both recurring expenditures such as annual highway repairs and one-time expenditures such as a public safety building.  All expenditures are shown in 2003 dollars and are subject to inflation.  

 

The need for most of these expenditures is explained in the Municipal Services and Facilities and Marine Resources section of the Inventory and Analysis.  Some of these are simply regular replacement of equipment such as police cruisers and fire department vehicles.  Others are one-time expenditures such as major improvements to the water and sewer lines.  The Public Safety building refers to a proposed new fire station that would also have space for the police department.  The breakwater is contingent upon major state or federal funding being available.

 

The overall downtown revitalization project is not presently in the CIP.  The plan recommends that a committee be formed to study what specifically needs to be accomplished.  It will be possible to add specific improvements to the CIP after the downtown study is complete.  The town is planning an initial investment in the downtown area through a $500,000 bond issue to be voted upon at the 2004 regular town meeting.  If approved, these funds would be used for sidewalks, subsurface drainage and curbing.  This will help implement the recommendations of the Scenic Byway Plan and the Winter Harbor comprehensive plan’s recommendations for the downtown area.

 

Table II.1

SUMMARY OF ANTICIPATED CAPITAL EXPENDITURES, 2004-2010

ITEM

COST

YEAR/METHOD OF FINANCING

Annual road improvements

$ 31,000

Annually/ 1,5

Forest Avenue water and sewer

$480,000

2004 / 3

New Fire Truck

$300,000

2005/ 1,2

Police Cruiser

$20,000

2007/ 1,2

Fire Department Van

$30,000

2007/ 1,2

Public Safety Building

$400,000

2006 /1,2,4

Revaluation

$42,000

2005/1

Boat ramp

$50,000

2009/1,3

Downtown infrastructure improvements

$500,000

2005/7

Marine Improvement Reserve Fund

$200,000

$10,000 Annually

Old standpipe renovation

$200,000

2005 /3, 6

Harbor breakwater

$1,500,000

2010/ 3,4

Key: 1. Direct appropriation; 2. Capital reserve fund; 3. state grant; 4. Bond; 5. State Highway Block Grant 6. Water District revenue 7. bond

 

  


II.B. FUTURE LAND USE PLAN

 

1.         Introduction

 

            The future land use plan presents a vision of what Winter Harbor residents want their town to be in the future.  It is based on the town’s goal to be a year-round community with a thriving economic base while also protecting its small town character and natural resources.

 

            Specifically, this section:

 

a.         estimates the amount of land needed for future growth;

 

b.         proposes a future development scheme for Winter Harbor; and

 

c.         recommends growth and rural areas.

 

2.         Land Needed for Future Development

 

As discussed in the Population and Housing chapters, the town actually lost population between 1990 and 2000 while it also experienced an 8 percent increase in the number of dwelling units.  As this plan is being prepared, there are a large number of vacant formerly Navy housing units that may be sold to new owners.  This means that there may be a much faster rate of population growth between 2000 and 2015 than there was between 1990 and 2000 due to the filling of these units with new households. 

 

Normally, population growth is a good way to estimate the number of homes that will be built in the future.  This estimate of homes in turn can help project the amount of acreage of land that will be needed for future residential development.  Due to the vacant Navy housing, however, existing dwellings may absorb much of new population growth.   New homes are also likely to be built, however.  Based on the dwelling unit projections presented in the Housing chapter, the plan assumes that about 100 new dwelling units (year-round and seasonal) will be built by 2015.  Given an average of one acre per unit this amounts to 100 acres. This is a minute portion of the roughly 8,000 acres in town.  As seen in Map 3 (soil suitability for development), a good portion of this land has significant constraints due to poor soils.  

 

The demand for other types of land is also expected to be modest.  As shown in the Existing Land Use chapter, only two new commercial units were added in the 1995-2001 period. Commercial development is thus expected to be modest.  It is likely, however, to grow at a slightly faster rate than in the past.  The reuse of the Navy facility and increased tourist traffic due to developments such as the Route 186 scenic byway designation may attract more commercial development.  The plan must make provision for commercial development to locate in town in a manner that does not result in commercial sprawl.

 

Most business and manufacturing uses will likely locate in the proposed Gouldsboro business park.  This site should be adequate for all likely manufacturing and business development.

 

3.         A Future Development Scheme for Winter Harbor

 

The following paragraphs present the future land use scheme envisioned for Winter Harbor.  In many respects, it aims to preserve the town as it is today while also allowing adequate opportunities for future growth.  It aims to keep the rural areas relatively rural, encourage appropriately scaled development in the downtown and minimize commercial sprawl along Route 186.   It also aims to set aside land for light industrial operations and related uses such as research facilities.

 

a.         The Downtown

 

The plan recommends that a separate downtown zone be created.  The proposed boundaries are shown on the future land use map (see map 4). As mentioned in the Goals and Objectives, lot frontage and setback standards would be less stringent in this zone.  Buildings along the built-up portion of Main Street would be allowed to have a ten-foot side lot setback if adequate fire prevention measures are in place.  Mixed commercial and residential (single family, duplex and multifamily) uses would be permitted along the Main Street and Route 186 portion of this zone.

 

b.         The Shoreline

 

            The areas currently zoned per state shoreland requirements would be retained largely in their current boundaries.  Whenever there is a conflict between shoreland zoning and the underlying district, the shoreland standards will apply.  The plan also recommends that water-dependent use areas such as boat yards, piers and the town landing be zoned as Commercial Fisheries Marine Activities (CFMA). The standards for this zone would prevent these areas to be converted to non-maritime uses such as residential apartments, retail commercial and restaurants unless it could be proven to the planning board that these uses would not disrupt maritime or fisheries operations.  The areas recommended as CFMA are shown on the future land use map.

 

As with all decisions related to future land use, it is important to monitor shoreland development trends.  If there were to be a decrease in marine-related activities, it may become more difficult for someone to make a living from a property zoned primarily for that purpose.  At such time, rezoning of these properties should be considered.

 

The plan recommends some initial shoreland zoning changes to allow it to minimize conflicts between its proposed changes to its land zones and the shore land.  First, given the fact that the Mill Stream runs through the growth area, additional protection is needed in this area.  The plan recommends that the Stream Protection District boundaries in the growth area be extended to include a 125-foot setback for structures. Second, there is a potential conflict between the wetlands buffer zoning for wetlands within the growth area.  This is an area that is expected to attract considerable development.  The present setback requirement for structures is 25 feet.  In the interests of protecting the wetlands from stormwater runoff and potential contamination, the plan recommends that this setback be retained.

 

Third, there is a potential conflict between the proposed Rural Conservation zone (see below) and the current shoreland zoning.  The current Limited Residential Zone in this area would allow new development at a much higher density than is being proposed for adjoining inland areas.  The plan recommends that the shoreland areas adjacent to the proposed Rural Conservation zone be zoned Resource Protection.  The plan recommends that single family homes be allowed in the Resource Protection Zone per the special exception provisions recommended by the DEP in its shoreland zoning guidelines.  This provision allows homes to be built within this zone if several conditions are met.

 

c.         Rural Residential Areas

 

Since not all residential development will occur in the downtown area, the plan recommends that some rural areas be set aside for residential growth. The proposed areas are shown on the Future Land Use map.  Their locations are based on fairly easy access to roads, suitability of soils for septic systems and existing development patterns.  There are two zones proposed for these areas; Rural Residential and Residential Recreational.

 

The recommended density for the Rural Residential zone is one-half acre per unit.  This requirement may be reduced to one- quarter acre if public water and sewer are available.  The front yard building setback standards would, under this proposal, be 25 feet if on an existing public road.  Frontage requirements on an existing public road would be 100 feet. Uses would be restricted to single family residential, accessory dwelling units (such as in-law apartments) and home occupations.  The rationale for these restrictions is to preserve the residential character of these areas.  Manufactured housing parks would also be permitted within 1,000 feet of areas served by public water or sewer or 1,000 feet from Route 186.

 

The Residential Recreational zone would include the areas presently within this zone, which primarily covers the Grindstone area.  The standards for this zone, which prohibit new commercial uses, are sufficient to protect it from incompatible development.  The present character and land ownership of this area mean that little change is likely to occur.  The plan recommends that there be no change in its zoning standards

 

 

d.         General Development Areas

 

The plan recommends that certain areas along Route 186 and portions of the downtown away from Main Street be designated General Development. The standards for these areas will be similar to the current General Development zone (see Appendix I).  Permitted uses would continue to include single and multi-family residential and commercial uses.  The current commercial uses in this zone consist primarily of those typically found in a fishing village.  These include equipment repair, boat service operations and small-scale stores.

 

The plan recommends that the zoning provisions for this area include vegetative buffering standards to minimize the visual impact of commercial uses on adjoining properties and on the Route 186 scenic byway.   To minimize storm water run off, impervious surface coverage (such as pavement and buildings) will not exceed 60 percent of the lot area.  The current building height restrictions of 40 feet will be retained for this zone. The zoning standards would also require that adequate provision be made for off-street parking.  This reduces the amount of traffic along Route 186. 

 

e.         Business Park

 

The plan recommends that an area in Gouldsboro be designated as a business park.  The town of Winter Harbor does not have the ready access to a major highway that is available on Route 1 in Gouldsboro.   Winter Harbor residents, however, would benefit from the jobs likely to locate in the area.  

 

f.          Rural Conservation Areas

 

The plan recommends that those parts of the town that lie within Acadia National Park, are adjacent to the Park  or are remote from existing roads and areas of intense development be designated rural conservation as well as portions of Route 186.  The primary permitted use in this zone will be very low density residential and natural resource-based operations such as farm stands and saw mills.  National Park-related uses such as information, education and research centers and park concessions would also be permitted.  The proposed permitted uses are also important in preserving the scenic character of Route 186, which has been designated as a scenic byway.   The recommended land use restrictions are also important in preserving the mobility of this road since they reduce the overall density and likely number of curb cuts.

 

While municipal zoning is only advisory for federal land, it is important to have Park and Navy properties zoned to facilitate municipal input into Park Service decisions. This would avoid it being used for incompatible uses if the property were ever sold.  The comprehensive plan must make clear what the town wants for federal properties.  This will make future negotiations with federal agencies easier in the event of a change in ownership.  This is the main reason why relatively restrictive land use standards are proposed for the area within National Park property.

 

            The plan recommends that the minimum lot size for new lots in this district be one acre.  Overall densities would be controlled by requiring that any new subdivision created from parcels over ten acres have no more than one unit per ten acres.  Individual lots may be as small as one acre, but the overall density may not exceed one unit per ten acres.  For example, a 40-acre subdivision would be allowed to have four units.   This standard would not apply to existing parcels that were under  ten acres at the time the land use ordinance changes were enacted.  In other words, land that was subdivided after the new ordinance provisions took effect could not be further subdivided without being subject to this restriction.

 

            There are several rationales for this recommendation.  First, it reduces the risk of the town having a large parcel developed into a major subdivision in a given year.  For example, a 50-acre parcel could presently be divided into 50 1-acre lots.  There is less risk of a comparable level of development occurring in a given year from multiple parcels that are less than ten acres.  In order to create 50 units, five parcels of ten acres each would have to be developed.  This is a less likely scenario than having one 50-acre parcel developed.

 

            The second rationale is that soils in the areas designated rural conservation are generally poor.  These properties thus have limited development potential.  The third rationale is that these areas are remote from town services.  It would be costly to extend bus service into these areas and they are far from the police department and fire station.  Finally, developing these areas would detract from promoting the Navy housing and other properties closer to town by offering a competing area for new development.  It is important that the town make efforts to channel development to its compact areas if it is to avoid sprawl.

 

g.         Overlay Districts

 

            The plan recommends two overlay districts, which, if enacted, would impose stricter standards than the underlying zone if a particular set of conditions applied.  The first district would be the 250-foot shoreland zoning buffer around certain wetlands.  The specific wetlands are those required to be protected by state shoreland zoning standards.  The approximate location of these wetlands is shown on the Future Land Use map.   The rationale for this overlay district is that the boundaries of some wetlands are subject to debate.  On-site investigation may be necessary to determine if a given parcel is subject to the applicable shoreland zoning standards.

 

            The second overlay district is the Wellhead Protection District. The purpose of this district is to protect the groundwater recharge area for the wells that serve the Winter Harbor Water District.   The town recently sought state and federal funds for these new wells and it is important to protect this investment. 

 

            This district restricts uses that would pose a threat to groundwater. For example, it limits the storage and handling of hazardous materials. It also has a more detailed list of criteria that are used to review development proposals.  The approximate boundaries are shown on the future land use map.  

 

4.         Growth and Rural Areas

 

The plan proposes that the downtown, rural residential and general development areas be designated as residential and commercial growth areas.   The plan also recommends that these growth areas serve the town of Gouldsboro, which does not have an area served by a public water and sewer system. The rural conservation areas would be designated as rural.  The shoreland areas would be a separate category since they have experienced considerable development but are environmentally sensitive.  The residential recreation would be a transitional area.  It does not have the infrastructure to attract growth.  It also lacks large parcels of land that are likely to be subdivided.

 

5.         Measures to Distinguish Growth and Rural Areas

 

            The plan relies on a mixture of incentives and requirements to channel more growth into the growth areas.  First, as mentioned in the Goals and Objectives, the plan recommends that the town undertake a comprehensive downtown revitalization program.  This will help make the downtown more attractive to future development.  This attraction is enhanced by plans to continue with improvements to the public water and sewer system.

 

            Second, it aims to minimize commercial sprawl in rural areas by restricting commercial uses to certain areas of Route 186.  Similarly, it channels business development into a business park in Gouldsboro.  Third, it creates a limited area (rural residential) where one acre lots are allowed in all subdivisions.  While the rural conservation area also has a minimum lot size of one acre for single lots, the density of subdivisions created from parcels over 10 acres is restricted.

 

            A fourth factor is that a large portion of the rural conservation area is owned by Acadia National Park.  As a fifth factor, the plan recommends that the town work with area land trusts to acquire voluntary conservation easements in the other parts of the rural conservation area.  The tax impacts of these conservation easements is likely to be minimal since many of these parcels are already held in tree growth taxation and presently yield minimal taxes anyway.

 

6.         Summary

 

The true test of any plan is time.  The plan thus recommends that growth trends be reviewed on an annual basis by mapping where new development takes place.  Five years after adoption of the plan, the town will determine what percentage of total new residential units have been built in growth areas. If less than 70 percent of development has occurred in growth areas, the plan recommends that these policies be reviewed.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

APPENDIX I

 

SUMMARY OF LAND USE ORDINANCES


Excerpt from the Winter Harbor Zoning Ordinance:

SCHEDULE OF USES

USES

RP

RR

LR

GD

RD

SP

1.       Non-intensive recreational uses not requiring structures, such as hunting, fishing, hiking, etc.

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

2.       Motorized vehicle traffic on roads and trails

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

3.       Forest management activities except for timber harvesting

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

4.       Fire prevention activities

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

5.       Wildlife management practices

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

6.       Soil and water conservation practices not requiring structures, dredging or filling

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

7.       Surveying and resource analysis

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

8.       Emergency operations as defined

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

9.       Mineral exploration*

YES3

YES3

YES3

YES3

YES3

NO

10.   Harvesting of wild crops

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

11.   Agriculture and gardening*

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

12.   Timber harvesting*

CEO2

CEO

CEO

CEO

CEO

CEO

13.   Public or private recreation facilities including parks, playgrounds, gold courses, driving ranges and swimming pools but excluding campgrounds

PB

PB

PB

PB

PB

PB

14.   Campgrounds

NO

NO

NO

PB

PB

NO

15.   Principle structures*

a.       Single family dwellings

b.       Family farm

c.       Professional office: clergyman, physician, architect, engineer, attorney or a similar professional person or occupation.

d.       Home occupation: customary home occupations carried on and requiring only customary home equipment such as fisherman, musician, dressmaker, etc.

e.       Motels, hotels and transient lodgings

f.        Automobile service stations

g.       Multi-family dwellings or apartments

h.       Roadside stands for agricultural products

i.         Floral, nursery, shrubbery, greenhouse and similar enterprises

j.         Water recreation/fishing-related retail and service enterprises

 

NO

NO

NO

 

 

NO

 

 

 

NO

NO

NO

NO

NO

 

NO

 

CEO

PB

NO

 

 

PB

 

 

 

NO

NO

NO

NO

NO

 

NO

 

CEO

PB

PB

 

 

PB

 

 

 

PB

NO

PB

PB

NO

 

PB

 

CEO

CEO

CEO

 

 

CEO

 

 

 

CEO

PB

CEO

CEO

CEO

 

CEO

 

CEO

CEO

CEO

 

 

CEO

 

 

 

CEO

PB

CEO

CEO

CEO

 

CEO

 

PB4

PB

NO

 

 

NO

 

 

 

NO

NO

NO

NO

NO

 

NO

16.   Structures accessory to permitted uses

PB

CEO

CEO

CEO

CEO

PB4

17.   Road and driveway construction

NO6

PB

PB

YES

YES

PB

18.   Small non-residential, non-profit facilities for educational, scientific or nature interpretation purposes

PB

PB

PB

CEO

CEO

PB4

19.   Municipal structures or uses

NO

PB

PB

PB

PB

PB

20.   Mobile homes – Manufactured housing

NO

NO

CEO

CEO

CEO

NO

21.   Cluster development*

NO

NO

NO

PB

PB

NO

22.   Commercial and industrial facilities having less than two thousand five hundred (2,500) square feet of gross floor area employing less than six (6) full-time employees or the equivalent thereof.

NO

NO

PB

CEO

CEO

NO

USES

RP

RR

LR

GD

RD

SP

23.   Commercial and industrial facilities having more than two thousand five hundred (2,500) square feet of gross floor area and/or employing more than six (6) full-time employees or the equivalent thereof

NO

NO

NO

PB

PB

NO

24.   Commercial and industrial facilities which by their nature of operation require shore front location, such as boatyards, marinas, fishing facilities, and other marine resource related activities

NO

NO

PB

CEO

PB

PB

25.   Automobile graveyards and junkyards operated in accordance with state laws

NO

NO

NO

PB

PB

NO

26.   Piers, docks, wharves, breakwaters, causeways, marinas, bridges over twenty (20) feet in length and uses projecting into water bodies*

a.       Temporary

b.       Permanent

 

 

PB

PB

 

 

NO

NO

 

 

 

CEO

PB

 

 

CEO

PB

 

 

CEO

PB

 

 

PB

PB

27.   Public and private schools

NO

NO

PB

PB

PB

NO

28.   Church or other places of worship, parish house, rectory, convent and other religious institutions

NO

PB

PB

PB

PB

NO

29.   Hospitals, clinics

NO

NO

PB

PB

PB

NO

30.   Eleemosynary, charitable and fraternal organizations, structures or uses

NO

NO

PB

PB

PB

NO

31.   Cemeteries

NO

NO

PB

PB

PB

NO

32.   Clearing for approved construction

CEO2

YES

YES

YES

YES

CEO

33.   Filling or other earth-moving activity of less than ten (10) yards

CEO

YES

YES

YES

YES

CEO

34.   Filling or other earth-moving activity of more than ten (10) yards

PB

CEO1

CEO1

CEO1

CEO1

PB

35.   Public utilities

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

36.   Uses similar to permitted uses

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

YES

37.   Aquaculture

PB

PB

PB

YES

PB

PB

38.   Mineral extraction

NO

PB

PB

PB

PB

NO

39.   Conversion of seasonal residences to year-round residence

NO

LPI

LPI

LPI

LPI

LPI

40.   Private sewage disposal systems for allowed uses

NO

LPI

LPI

LPI

LPI

LPI

41.   Essential services

PB5

PB

PB

PB

PB

PB5

42.   Uses similar to uses requiring a PB permit

PB

PB

PB

PB

PB

PB

43.   Uses similar to uses requiring a CEO permit

CEO

CEO

CEO

CEO

CEO

CEO

1          Permit needed in the shoreland zone only.

2          In RP not permitted within 75 feet of the normal high-water line of great ponds, except to remove safety hazards.

3          Requires permit from the code enforcement officer (CEO) if more than 100 square feet of surface area, in total is disturbed.

4          Provided that a variance from the setback requirement is obtained from the Board of Appeals.

5          See further restrictions in Section 12-314.

6          Except to provide access to permitted uses within the district, or where no reasonable alternative route or location is available outside the RP area, in which case a permit is required from the PB.

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

APPENDIX II

 

GOALS & OBJECTIVES FOR THE SCENIC BYWAY STUDY

 

 

 


Schoodic Scenic Byway Corridor Management Plan (Adopted June, 2000)

 

 

VISION

 

The Schoodic Scenic Byway is the gateway to Downeast Maine.  The byway provides residents and visitors alike with the opportunity to live a unique, “down-east” piece of the American mosaic.  Our communities are the home of rugged coastlines, harbors filled with fishing, lobstering and recreational boats, baked bean suppers and independent thinking.

 

This scenic byway ties together three traditional Maine communities with Acadia National Park’s Schoodic Peninsula. Residents, local businesses and elected-representatives work together to preserve and promote the economy, traditional and innovative land use and a clean, healthy environment throughout the corridor. 

 

Residents of Sullivan, Gouldsboro and Winter Harbor are able to travel safely in their own communities, with better accommodation for driving, walking and bicycling.  Visitors have adequate places to leave their cars and recreational vehicles so that they can explore our communities and Acadia National Park by bus, bicycle, boat, and on foot.

 

The economy is diversified and sustainable with businesses that attracted to our hard working citizens, marine resources and the high quality of life.  Much of our workforce continues to be self-employed entrepreneurs.  New businesses work with community leaders to strike a balance between the need for visibility and the importance of preserving the beauty that we all need.  We enjoy year round tourism, with visitors interested in down-east recreation in snow, flowers, sun and autumn colors. 

 

Our communities continue to support instituting reasonable measures to preserve scenic views and historical and cultural resources and to enhance safety for residents and visitors.

 

 

GOAL 1: maintain and enhance the scenic and historical value of the Scenic Byway

 

 

Without scenery, without historic landmarks, without the working landscapes of the Schoodic Region, there is no call for a scenic byway.  Yet, the experience in other towns suggests that the absence of planning can result in commercial sprawl and a loss of intrinsic resources, eventually denigrating towns to parking and shopping way-stations for people looking for the “real Maine”.  The objectives listed here are part of a balanced strategy that seeks to protect historic and scenic resources, property rights of land owners and the quality of life that resident hold dear.

 

Objectives

Inventory scenic and historical locations

Rank priorities for scenic and historic preservation

Identify resources for scenic preservation

Enter written partnership agreements to preserve scenic and historical values

 

Strategies

Work with community leaders, business leaders and landowners to identify scenic locations

Partner with area Historical Societies to identify areas of historical significance

Examine existing ordinances, identifying strengths as well as gaps and inconsistencies

Work organizations such as the Route 1 Corridor Committee, Schoodic Area Chamber of Commerce, Schoodic Futures, Hancock County Planning Commission, Eastern Maine Development Corporation, Maine Department of Transportation and the Maine Department of Environmental Protection to match resources with needs.

 

Performance Measures

Completed Inventory of Historic Assets

Additional structures listed on the National Register

Passage of new policies at state and local levels to protect scenic and historic properties

Private and public funds devoted to historic preservation

Additions to accessible scenic overlooks, turnouts and park areas

 

 

GOAL 2: provide safe traveling lanes for Pedestrians, Bicycles and Motor vehicles

 

Safety is “number one” in the minds of members of the Corridor Advocacy Group and was repeatedly stressed in public meetings.  In order for the Byway program to be considered successful in this region it must increase safety for residents and visitors over the status quo.  The status quo does leave room for improvement.  Issues noted in public meetings include lack of space for bicycles and pedestrians, tourists attempting to see and photograph scenic vistas without a proper place to stop and sometimes note stopping at all, drivers exceeding posted speed limits, and large vehicles lacking adequate space and obstructing roads.  The objectives listed below are only a first attempt at mitigating existing problems many of which will grow worse as tourism continues to increase in the future.

 

Objectives
Identify locations for bicycle routes
Identify funds for scenic byway improvements

Identify automobile turn-out locations
Identify signing ideas for scenic locations
Identify needed road improvements

Identify parking and traffic ordinances

Increase sensitivity of RV drivers of their impact on communities and fellow travelers.


Strategies
Work with DOT to identify locations for turnouts
Committee prepares mock signs for community evaluation

HCPC prepares regional integration document for bicycle routes

Apply for Federal and State grants for safety and transportation

Provide “staging” or parking areas for RVs to switch to alternative modes of transportation, such as bicycles, towed vehicles or buses.

 

Performance Measures

Road reconstruction and resurfacing (primarily through six-year planning process)

Shoulder paving and other trail construction for bicyclists and pedestrians

Improved scenic turnouts and park-and-ride facilities along the byway

Placement of safety related signage for traffic calming and visitor information

Reductions in safety reports and accidents relative to daily volume of traffic

 

 

GOAL 3: Foster Participation And Community Support For The Scenic Byway

 

 

Public participation has been essential to the creation of this corridor management plan and will be equally critical for future protection of the intrinsic values.  The Towns of Sullivan, Gouldsboro and Winter Harbor will be active in two ways to support the Scenic Byway.  First, they will be active participants in the Corridor Management Committee, the coordinating body that will promote the byway locally, identify national, state and local resources for making improvements and will act to provide information to local planning boards and select boards about how byways can be protected.  The Towns will also embark on a multi-year effort to consider and adopt policies that will encourage development that does not diminish the historic and scenic values identified on the byway. Details about this process are described in the section on Protection Techniques.  The towns will be assisted in there efforts by the Route 1 Corridor Committee, the Regional Transportation Advisory Committee and several partners at the state level.

 

Objectives

Define and implement an ongoing Community Participation Program

Use the print and broadcast media to keep the public informed

Provide educational open forums, meetings and workshops

Pursue new protection techniques to encourage preservation of historic and scenic resources.

Pass the Corridor Management Plan in all three towns at annual meetings

 

Strategies

Build expertise within the Corridor Advocacy Group

Byway Committee and HCPC provide draft press releases

Build and display a Scenic Byway informational signboard

Invite guest speakers to open forums and meetings

Invite community leaders, businesses and members to open forums and meetings

Arrange meetings with DOT, SBC and Hancock County Planning Commission and other professional groups to make presentations at the workshops

 

Performance Measures

Passage of the Corridor management plan at public meetings

Attendance at public meetings, public hearings and other events

Publications and other media presentations about the byway

Grant applications completed and successful

Commitments of local support for completion of byway objectives

 

 

GOAL 4: Promote Education On The Need For Resource Protection And Preservation

 

 

There are many unexploited opportunities for education of visitors about the scenic, natural, historical and cultural resources of this region.  One humorous definition of education is “the process of learning what you didn’t know you didn’t know.” Of the five goals in this plan, education should be considered the most amenable to new ideas and methods for implementation. As such, the objectives set forth in this plan are suggestive rather than comprehensive.

 

Objectives

Identify historical landmarks and create interpretive signage

Identify and promote off-byway side trips

Identify natural resources and create interpretive signage emphasizing the local economy

 

Strategies

Provide educational open forums, meetings and workshops

Provide information at scenic turnouts on scenic, historic and cultural assets

Provide travelers maps with insets for off-byway sites, such as Tunk Lake, Corea and West Gouldsboro.

 

Performance Measures

Greater awareness and appreciation of historic and scenic landmarks

Use of byway side trips, particularly at times when primary routes are congested

Use of educational materials on local natural resources by residents and visitors

Reductions in littering, damage to wildlife habitat, damage to archeological sites and other harm to the local natural and cultural resources.

 

GOAL 5: Support Year-Round Economic Growth AND Seasonal Tourism

The economies of Sullivan, Gouldsboro and Winter Harbor, like much of the state, are a mix of natural resource based activity, the Schoodic Navy Base that recently scheduled to close, summer residents who own much of the coastal property and tourism.  Tourism works in this region in part because of the local economic activities, such as lobstering, clamming, blueberry farming and timber growth, are a fascinating lesson for visitors from the south and west.  Local agricultural and marine activities work in part due to the boost that local markets get from the influx of summer people and tourists.  The balance, however, is difficult to maintain.  The heavy influx of tourists in July and August strain local capacity for services and boost real estate prices beyond the means of many residents.  The equally dramatic decline in tourism in the off season leaves many residents without jobs. 

 

One means of creating a more sustainable tourism sector in this region is to adopt measures which encourage more visitors during the shoulder season, particularly early summer and early to late autumn.  Other means include spreading tourists out of the more congested areas into less frequented locations and identifying ways to reduce the number of motor vehicles in areas have room for additional people but not for additional cars.  The scenic byway program can promote sustainable tourism through marketing the off-seasons, encouraging visitors to see the full range of working and recreational landscapes in the region and encouraging use of transit options like buses and boats.  The byway may be used to promote the region for enterprises that value the natural and historic values of the region, such as education, research and development facilities, marine resources businesses and retirement communities.

 

Objectives

Identify ways that scenic byway improvements can support an extended tourist “shoulder” season

Develop informational materials for local investors for business start-ups – emphasize quality of the work forces and quality of life.

 

Strategies

Develop informational materials for tourists emphasizing off-season activities such as autumn colors, hunting, fishing and cultural activities.

Work with State Legislators, economic and tourism groups

Work with the Department of Economic and Community Development, Eastern Maine Development Corporation, Hancock County Planning Commission, Schoodic Area Chamber of Commerce, Schoodic Futures and other organizations

Coordinate Scenic Byways projects with Strategic Passenger Transportation Plan

 

Performance Measures

Increases in tourism during the shoulder and off-seasons

Economic diversification, measured in creation of employment in a broad range of industry and occupation categories.

Increases in year round employment in the region, particularly jobs paying livable wages

Increase in alternative transportation modes in the region, such as bus, train and ferry transportation.