Town of Bar Harbor, ME
Hancock County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Added 11-2-1999]
The purpose of design review is to provide for the regulation of building and site design within designated areas of the Town of Bar Harbor as proposed in the Town's adopted Comprehensive Plan in order to promote the following goals:
A. 
The education, economics, and the general welfare of the Town, its residents, and guests;
B. 
The protection and preservation of buildings, places, and things of aesthetic, historic, cultural, or architectural value;
C. 
The continued maintenance and improvement of existing structures in a timely and responsible manner;
D. 
The fostering of a positive and identifiable image to encourage continued private and public interest, investment, and development within the designated area;
E. 
The construction and maintenance of aesthetically pleasing structures using materials compatible with those materials and buildings that exist in their immediate area; and
F. 
The ability of the Design Review Board to carry out its task in a timely and fair manner with the best interests of the Town, its residents, property owners, and consumers in mind using the regulations, definitions, and standards of this article.
A. 
Creation and composition. There is hereby created a Design Review Board which shall consist of seven members appointed by the Town Council, who shall be residents of the Town of Bar Harbor, interested in the preservation and development of the Community.
B. 
Transition. Upon adoption of this article, the former Board of Review shall become the Design Review Board, the members of the Board of Review shall become the members of the Design Review Board with the same terms of service, the Design Review Board shall assume all of the functions previously performed by the Board of Review, and the two additional members shall be appointed by the Town Council. The Design Review Board may be referred to as the "Review Board" or "Board."
C. 
Jurisdiction. The Review Board's jurisdiction shall be limited to the Design Review Overlay District identified in § 125-112A. The Review Board shall be concerned with those elements of development, redevelopment, rehabilitation and/or preservation that affect the visual quality of the district. In Downtown Village Districts, this review includes views from public streets and parking lots, as well as the view from the waterfront. In the Town Hill Business District, all sides of the building and the overall property development are subject to review. The Board shall not consider the interior floor plan layout of buildings as part of its review.
[Amended 11-3-2009; 6-8-2010]
D. 
Term of office. The term of office shall be for three years.
E. 
Members serve without pay. Members of the Board shall serve without pay but shall be reimbursed for any and all authorized expenses incurred personally in carrying out the purposes of this article.
F. 
Organization. The Board shall elect from its membership a Chair and a Vice Chair who shall serve for terms of one year and who shall be eligible for re-election. The Chair shall preside over the Board and have the right to vote. In an absence or disability of the Chair, the Vice Chair shall perform the duties of the Chair.
G. 
Staff assistance. The Code Enforcement Officer and Town Planner shall provide such technical, administrative, and clerical assistance as required by the Board subject to the approval of the Town Manager.
H. 
Professional assistance. The Board, subject to the Town Council's consent, shall have the right to retain and pay for the services and expenses of professional help needed in carrying out the purpose of this article. If the review of an application requires outside professional assistance, the Board may require the payment of a technical assistance fee in accordance with § 125-65D to defray the Town's costs in obtaining such assistance.
I. 
Meetings. The Board shall hold regular meetings, at least monthly, to review applications for certificates of appropriateness. All meetings of the Board shall be recorded.
A. 
Design Review Overlay Districts.
[Amended 11-4-2003; 11-2-2004; 6-9-2009; 11-3-2009]
(1) 
The provisions of this article shall apply only within the geographic limits of the following Design Review Overlay District, hereinafter called the "district.”
(2) 
Boundaries of the Design Review Overlay District. The district shall include the following neighborhood districts as shown on the Official Neighborhood Districts Map of Bar Harbor: the Downtown Village I District; Downtown Village II District; the Shoreland General Development I District; Shoreland General Development II District; the Village Historic District; and the Town Hill Business District. The district is depicted on the map titled "Design Review Overlay District of the Town of Bar Harbor, Maine." The district also includes all bed-and-breakfast uses and individual properties with the following uses, regardless of their district location: TA-1, TA-3, TA-4, and TA-6. The district also includes properties listed in Appendix A and/or Appendix B of this chapter.[1]
[Amended 6-8-2010; 6-14-2016]
[1]
Editor's Note: Said appendixes are included as attachments to this chapter.
(3) 
The district also includes the districts and area included in the Sign Ordinance, § 125-67BB.
B. 
Activities subject to design review. Any of the following activities shall be undertaken within the designated district only after a certificate of appropriateness has been issued by the Code Enforcement Officer of the Town of Bar Harbor after review and approval by the Review Board:
[Amended 11-4-2003; 5-3-2004; 11-2-2004]
(1) 
The demolition, in whole or in part, of a building or structure classified as historic as denoted in Appendix A and/or B or is a bed-and-breakfast I, II or IV TA-1, -3, -4 or -6, respectively.
[Amended 6-8-2010]
(2) 
The moving or relocation of a building, sign or structure classified as historic as denoted in Appendix A and/or B or is a bed-and-breakfast I, II or IV TA-1, -3, -4 or -6, respectively.
[Amended 6-8-2010]
(3) 
Any material change, other than routine maintenance and repair and minor renovations as outlined in Subsection C, in the exterior appearance of an existing building, sign, fence, or structure classified as historic as denoted in Appendix A and/or B or is a bed-and-breakfast, TA-1, -3, -4 or -6, respectively, including additions, reconstruction, alterations, or maintenance involving a change in the exterior color or materials.
[Amended 6-8-2010]
(4) 
Any new construction of a principal or accessory building or structure, except for lots with the principal use of a single- or two-family dwelling;
(5) 
Any material change, other than routine maintenance and repair and minor renovations as outlined in Subsection C, in the exterior appearance of an existing nonhistoric building or structure, except for lots with the principal use of a single- or two-family dwelling, such as additions, reconstruction, alterations, or maintenance involving a change in the exterior color, if the change is subject to view from a public street;
(6) 
Any change in existing fences and/or retaining, ornamental or other freestanding walls or the construction of new fences and/or freestanding walls on a parcel, except for lots with the principal use of a single or two-family dwelling, if the wall or fence is located along a public street right-of-way;
(7) 
The erection of a new sign, the relocation of an existing sign, approval of a signage plan and its specific content as per § 125-67BB(3)(c), or the modification of an existing sign which changes the size, color, lighting, or graphic design of the sign, except for lots with the principal use of a single or two-family dwelling.
(8) 
The seasonal closure of a business involving the placement of window coverings or other activities which alter the exterior appearance of the property and can be seen from a public street. (Note: The certificate of appropriateness obtained initially shall remain in effect as long as the closure treatment remains unchanged.)
C. 
Activities not subject to design review. The following activities are not subject to design review:
(1) 
The construction of a new principal or accessory building or structure or the modification of an existing nonhistoric building or structure used entirely for single- or two-family dwelling occupancy.
[Amended 5-3-2004]
(2) 
The erection or modification of signs, freestanding walls, fences, landscaping or similar activities at a property used entirely for single- or two-family dwelling occupancy.
[Amended 5-3-2004]
(3) 
Temporary or emergency activities intended to protect a property from damage as a result of a natural event, such as a storm, or to secure a property from further damage following a storm, fire, or similar event. All permanent improvements or repairs shall be subject to design review.
(4) 
Routine maintenance or repair where no change is made to the exterior appearance of the structure or grounds. The following list illustrates the types of work that a property owner may undertake without a certificate of appropriateness:
(a) 
Repainting using the existing colors.
(b) 
Replacement of window glass.
(c) 
Caulking and weatherstripping.
(d) 
Installation or removal of window air conditioners.
(e) 
Installation or changes of mechanical equipment, such as heating and air-conditioning units, television antennas/satellite dishes, and garbage containers, as long as it is completely screened from view by landscaping or fencing.
(f) 
Repair of roofing materials as long as the material is of a similar color, texture and general appearance.
(g) 
Replacement of missing or deteriorated siding, gutters, trim, porch flooring, steps, etc., using replacement materials that match the original and that do not damage or eliminate architectural features.
(h) 
Repair or replacement of masonry foundations where the original foundation material is retained or where any new material matches the original in color, material, and appearance [including the installation of metal foundation vents (side and rear only) and the replacement of access doors which cannot be seen from the street].
(i) 
Repointing and other masonry repairs where the color and composition of the mortar, brick or stone match the original.
(j) 
Replacement of storm windows or doors provided that the trim color is white or compliments the building's trim color.
(k) 
Installing house numbers and mailboxes.
(5) 
Minor renovations that do not include any changes in the exterior appearance of the building, such as:
(a) 
Replacing old windows with new windows of the same size and material.
(b) 
Replacing old siding with new siding of the same material and color.
(c) 
Replacing old roofing with new roofing with the same color and style.
(6) 
Renovation or new construction which is limited to the following types of improvements:
[Added 11-8-2011]
(a) 
Exterior building facade paint color selected from the Design Review Board approved color chart(s). The color chart(s) can be obtained from the Planning Department and may be updated from time to time pursuant to Design Review Board approval. Colors not listed on the color chart(s) require a certificate of appropriateness from the Design Review Board.
(b) 
(Reserved)[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection C(6)(b), regarding replacement of certain signs, was repealed 6-14-2016. See now § 125-67BB(6)(o).
(c) 
(Reserved)[3]
[3]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection C(6)(c), regarding tenant signage, was repealed 6-14-2016. See now § 125-67BB(6)(o).
(d) 
(Reserved)[4]
[4]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection C(6)(d), regarding sandwich board signs, was repealed 6-14-2016. See now § 125-67BB(6)(o).
(e) 
Installation of roof-mounted solar collection panels and appurtenant equipment.
[Amended 6-14-2016]
(f) 
Retractable awnings made of fabric material. Fabric may be striped or solid in color, and must be listed on the approved color chart for awnings in order to be eligible for an exemption. Lettering or wording shall not be printed on the awning unless otherwise approved through the issuance of a certificate of appropriateness.
(g) 
Installation of lighting for signage, provided such lighting complies with § 125-67Z.
D. 
Classification of buildings, signs, and structures. Within the district, all buildings and structures shall be divided into two classes, historic and nonhistoric.
[Amended 11-4-2003]
(1) 
Historic buildings and structures. For the purposes of this article, buildings and structures possessing identified historic or architectural merit of a degree warranting their preservation shall be classified as historic.
(a) 
Those buildings or structures which meet one or more of the following criteria shall be considered as historic, noting that they may not all meet state or federal criteria for official designation as historic properties:
[1] 
Buildings or structures at which events occur or have occurred that contribute to, are identified with, or significantly represent or exemplify the broad cultural, political, economic, military, social, or sociological history of Bar Harbor and/or the nation. These include sites and buildings at which the public may gain insight or see examples of particular items or patterns relevant to North American heritage.
[2] 
Buildings or structures importantly associated with historical personages.
[3] 
Buildings or structures importantly associated with historic examples of a great idea or ideal.
[4] 
Buildings or structures or structural remains embodying examples of architectural types of specimens valuable for study of a period, style, or method of building construction, of community organization and living, or a single site representing the work of a master builder, designer, architect, or landscape architect.
[5] 
Buildings or structures contributing to the visual continuity and aesthetic value of the district.
[6] 
Buildings or structures currently on, or eligible for, the National Register of Historic Places or listing as a National Historic Landmark.
(b) 
A list of the properties meeting one or more of these criteria is contained in Appendixes A and B.[5] The Board shall annually review both the criteria and the properties included on the list and shall make recommendations to the Town Meeting for modifications to the criteria and additions to, or deletions from, the list as it deems necessary to accomplish the objectives of these design review provisions.
[5]
Editor's Note: Appendixes A and B are included at the end of this chapter.
(c) 
The owner of any property within the district may submit a written request to the Board asking for a review of the historic or architectural merit of his/her property and consideration of its inclusion on or deletion from the list. In such cases, the Board shall review the property for conformance with the criteria and recommend adding or deleting the property as appropriate to the Town Meeting.
(2) 
Nonhistoric buildings and structures. All buildings and structures not classified as historic based upon the criteria of Subsection D(1) and included on the list of historic properties shall be classified as nonhistoric.
A. 
Preapplication procedures.
(1) 
Prior to making application for a certificate of appropriateness, an applicant shall familiarize herself/himself with the requirements and procedures of this section and obtain a copy of the procedures, standards, Design Review Handbook, and application form from the Planning Department. Applicants are welcome to observe a meeting of the Design Review Board to familiarize themselves with the Board's procedures.
(2) 
Applicants are encouraged to meet informally with the Town Planner or Code Enforcement Officer to discuss their project prior to preparing and submitting an application or making any binding arrangements for the proposed improvements.
(3) 
All preapplication activities shall be informational in nature, and any discussions during these activities shall in no way be construed to be a decision or to bind future actions of the Board. No preapplication discussions shall cause an application to be considered to be a pending application or proceeding under 1 M.R.S.A. § 302.
B. 
Application submission and review procedures. The applicant shall prepare and submit an application for a certificate of appropriateness together with supporting documentation that meets the requirements set forth below, provided that all time limits provided in this section may be extended by the mutual agreement of the applicant and the Board. The submission shall be processed as follows:
(1) 
The application shall be submitted to the Planning Department at least seven days prior to the meeting of the Review Board at which the application will be considered.
(2) 
Upon receipt of an application, the Planning Department shall give the applicant a dated receipt and review the submission for completeness within three days.
(3) 
If the Planning Department finds that the application is complete, that all required information has been submitted, the Planning Department shall place the application on the agenda for the next scheduled meeting of the Board.
(4) 
If the Planning Department finds the application to be incomplete, it shall return it to the applicant with a written indication of the additional information and/or revisions needed and shall inform the applicant that the application will not be processed until a complete application is submitted. If an application is returned to the applicant on the basis that it is incomplete, the applicant may appeal this decision, in writing, to the Design Review Board and the Board shall consider the completeness of the application at its next meeting. If the Board finds that the application is complete, it shall continue with the review of the application.
(5) 
The Board shall consider an application at its next scheduled meeting after it is determined to be complete. The applicant and/or his/her representative(s) shall attend the meeting and shall explain the proposed activities to the Board and answer any questions about the application. The burden is on the applicant to demonstrate that the application meets the requirements of § 125-114. The applicant and/or his/her representative(s) may present any information to the Board that he/she feels will demonstrate compliance with the standards.
(6) 
The Board shall act to approve, approve with conditions, or deny an application within 30 days of its initial consideration. The Board may extend this period to 45 days for projects involving the construction of a new building or an addition to an existing building. If the Board fails to act within the period provided the application shall be deemed to have been denied.
(7) 
The Board may impose conditions on the approval but only those that are necessary to assure compliance with the standards of approval. In making its decision, the Board shall make written findings of fact establishing that the proposal does or does not meet the standards. Following its action, the Board shall notify the Code Enforcement Officer of its decision and instruct the Code Enforcement Officer as to whether a certificate of appropriateness shall be issued.
C. 
Coordination with site plan review.
(1) 
The design review and site plan review requirements deal with different aspects of a project. Some of the activities subject to design review may also require that the applicant obtain site plan approval from the Planning Board. These include the construction of a new building, projects involving the expansion or renovation of an existing building, and situations in which the use of the building is being changed.
(2) 
Prior to preparing an application for a certificate of appropriateness, the applicant should review this chapter and/or meet with the Town Planner to determine if site plan approval is required in addition to design review. If site plan review is also required, the applicant may submit concurrent applications to the two Boards and may request that the two applications be reviewed concurrently.
(3) 
The application for design review must be consistent with the activities and design submitted as part of the site plan review application. If either Board's review and approval of the plan results in revisions or conditions which affect aspects of the project subject to the other Board's review, both the applications must be modified accordingly. Projects subject to both design review and site plan review must comply with both approvals and any conditions imposed as part of the approvals.
D. 
Process for the demolition of a historic building. This Subsection D establishes two processes for the demolition of a building or structure classified as historic. The first allows for immediate demolition with the issuance of a certificate of appropriateness, while the second allows for delayed demolition if a certificate of appropriateness is not issued.
(1) 
Immediate demolition.
(a) 
If the owner of a building or structure classified as historic seeks to demolish the building or structure in whole or in part, the Review Board may approve the issuance of a certificate of appropriateness for the demolition if the property owner shows that the application meets the standards of § 125-114F(2).
(b) 
If a certificate of appropriateness is approved, the applicant may immediately apply to the Code Enforcement Officer for a demolition permit. If the Board fails to approve the issuance of a certificate of appropriateness permitting the demolition, the applicant may proceed under the delayed demolition procedures.
(2) 
Delayed demolition.
(a) 
If the Board fails to issue a certificate of appropriateness, the owner of a building or structure classified as historic may apply for a permit to demolish the building in accordance with the following procedures. The building may be demolished; provided, however, that before a demolition permit is issued, four months' notice of the proposed demolition shall be given.
(b) 
The objective of this provision is to further the purposes of this article by preserving historic buildings which are important to the education, culture, traditions, and the economic values of the Town and to afford the Town, interested persons, historic societies or organizations the opportunity to acquire or to arrange for the preservation of such buildings.
(c) 
The Board may at any time during such stay approve a certificate of appropriateness in accordance with § 125-114F(2) in which event a demolition permit shall be issued without further delay.
(d) 
Public notice of the pending demolition shall be provided as follows:
[1] 
Notice of the proposed demolition shall be posted on the premises of the building or structure proposed for demolition in a location clearly visible from the street, shall be mailed to the Maine State Historic Preservation Office, and shall be delivered to the Bar Harbor Historical Society.
[2] 
Notice shall be published in a newspaper of general local circulation at least three times prior to demolition, the final notice of which shall be not less than 15 days prior to the date of the permit, and the first notice of which shall be published no more than 15 days after the application for a permit to demolish is filed.
E. 
Submission requirements.
(1) 
The activities covered by design review vary widely in their scope and complexity and, hence, in the type and amount of information needed by the Review Board to determine if the proposed activities are consistent with the standards of this section.
(2) 
In all cases, the burden is on the applicant to provide the Board with adequate information to determine the appropriateness of the project.
(3) 
To aid the applicant in preparing his/her application, the minimum submission requirements shown in the following table have been established. Applicants should submit additional information if they feel that is necessary or helpful in demonstrating that the proposed activities are consistent with the standards.
(4) 
The following exhibits[1] shall be submitted as part of an application for a certificate of appropriateness. Projects involving more than one activity must submit the exhibits required for each of the proposed activities. For example, a project involving the painting of an existing building and the installation of a new sign is required to submit the exhibits required for both aspects of the project.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Table 2 included at the end of this chapter.
A. 
In reviewing an application for a certificate of appropriateness, the Design Review Board shall approve the issuance of a certificate if it finds the application and proposed activities are consistent with the following standards, or that they will be consistent as a result of conditions of approval imposed on the application.
(1) 
The standards are broken down into five categories:
(a) 
Standards relating to visual compatibility;
(b) 
Standards for materials and design details for structural projects;
(c) 
Standards for materials and design details for accessory projects;
(d) 
Standards for signs; and
(e) 
Standards for historic buildings.
(2) 
In reviewing applications, the Board shall consider the appropriate sections of each of these categories and shall find the project in conformance with all relevant provisions before approving the issuance of a certificate of appropriateness.
(3) 
Appendix B contains a list of locally significant buildings within the district that reflect the type of design that these standards are intended to foster. These buildings should be viewed as the standard of design against which proposed projects are judged. The intention of providing this list is not that new proposals should seek to replicate the specific design of one of these buildings but rather to provide examples of the overall level of design that is deemed to be appropriate within the district. In addition, pictorial examples of acceptable treatments of various features are provided for many of the standards in the Design Review Handbook.
B. 
Standards relating to visual compatibility. The following standards for visual compatibility shall apply to all activities subject to a certificate of appropriateness within the Design Review Overlay District. These standards are intended to guide the design, construction, and maintenance of buildings, improvements, signs, and other visual features within the district to assure that they complement the visual character of the district and to serve as a foundation for the review of an application for a certificate of appropriateness. These standards are intended to be general statements of design principles to which activities within the district are required to conform.
(1) 
Building height. The height of new buildings and additions or modifications to existing buildings shall be visually compatible with adjacent buildings as seen from public streets. Where an established pattern of building heights exists, the height or apparent height of new, expanded, or modified buildings as seen from the public street shall maintain a complementary pattern.
(2) 
Building scale and design.
(a) 
The size of a building and the building mass in relationship to the site and surrounding features shall visually complement the buildings, squares, and places to which it is visually related.
(b) 
Where there is an established pattern of building size or scale as viewed from a public street, new buildings or modifications to existing buildings shall be designed to maintain the existing pattern. If there is an established pattern of buildings with narrow facades on the street, a new building shall maintain this visual pattern by limiting the size of the street facade or by designing the facade to appear as a number of narrow facades or through other approaches.
(c) 
The design of buildings shall visually complement the district. The design of buildings shall also conform to the following standards:
[1] 
The facade facing the street shall be treated as a front facade. The facade shall incorporate pedestrian-scale design features such as doors and windows to create a character that complements the district. Windows or architectural treatments designed to simulate windows shall comprise no less than 20% of the exterior wall surface. The facade shall be designed to avoid large areas of blank wall space.
[2] 
Ground floor facades facing a public street must incorporate arcades, display windows, awnings, or other features to add visual interest to the building.
[3] 
Buildings used for retail or other public uses shall be designed to have clearly defined entrances that are visually compatible with the visual character of the district.
[4] 
Roofs shall be designed to complement visually the overall visual character of the district. A new building shall have a roofline that is similar to adjacent buildings if there is an established pattern of rooflines. If there is not an established pattern, new buildings shall have pitched or gabled roofs to the extent practical. If a pitched roof is not practical, false fronts or other design elements shall be used to create the appearance of a pitched roof. Accessory buildings, canopies, and other structures shall have rooflines that are visually compatible with the roofline of the principal building.
[5] 
The treatment of accessory buildings and structures shall be compatible with the principal building and shall use similar materials, details, and level of trim.
[6] 
New buildings with more than 5,000 square feet of first floor area shall be designed so that the building scale is visually compatible with the character of the district. The overall mass of the building shall be visually broken into smaller elements through the physical layout of the building and/or the design of the facades.
(3) 
Proportionality of the front or street facade.
(a) 
The ratio of the width of the front or street facade to the building height shall complement the visual character of the district.
(b) 
Where an established pattern of facade proportion exists, new or modified buildings shall maintain the established pattern. If there is a pattern of tall, narrow buildings, a new building that is wider than it is tall is inappropriate unless the facade is broken into segments that maintain the established proportions.
(4) 
Proportionality of windows.
(a) 
The ratio of the width of windows to the height of the windows shall complement the visual character of the district.
(b) 
Modifications to existing buildings shall maintain the existing proportionality. The modification of the facade of existing buildings to change or eliminate windows shall be done in a manner that maintains the established relationship of windows to wall. The "bricking up" of windows is discouraged unless the relationship can be maintained in other ways.
(c) 
Where an established pattern of window proportions exists among a group of buildings or along a block face, new or modified buildings shall maintain the established pattern.
(5) 
Building spacing. In the Downtown Village Districts, where an established pattern exists with respect to the placement of buildings on the lot vis-a-vis the lot lines, new or modified buildings shall reflect the established pattern to the extent allowed by the setback provisions of the district in which they are located. In an area where the existing buildings all extend the full width of the lot, constructing a new building so that it is set back from the lot line is not consistent with this guideline unless the setback is required to meet zoning requirements.
[Amended 11-3-2009; 6-8-2010]
(6) 
Relationship of the building to the street.
(a) 
The relationship of a new or modified building or structure with the street shall visually complement neighboring buildings, the overall character of the district, and other buildings to which it is visually related to the extent permitted by the setback requirements of the district in which it is located.
(b) 
Where there is an established front setback pattern, new buildings or structures shall be located to maintain the established pattern if permitted by the zoning requirements. If an established pattern does not exist, new buildings shall be located in a manner that is compatible with the overall character of the district. New or reconstructed buildings shall be located on the lot so that the building is set back from the street no more than the average of the setbacks for buildings in similar locations in the district.
(c) 
For buildings on corner lots, the setback relationship on both streets shall be maintained through the placement of buildings and other site features.
(7) 
Pedestrian relationships and facilities.
(a) 
Where sidewalks exist in front of the parcel, the site shall be designed to provide for pedestrian access to the front entrance of the building without the need to cross parking areas or access drives.
(b) 
The walkway to the front entrance shall be constructed with materials which contrast with the paving of the vehicular areas, that provide a safe and inviting access to the building, and that are visually compatible with other pedestrian facilities in the neighborhood.
(c) 
If a sidewalk along the street is interrupted or crossed by a proposed driveway, access road, or other vehicular facility, the sidewalk material must be maintained across the driveway or another visually compatible method used to clearly delineate the sidewalk from the drive.
(8) 
Motor vehicle facilities and services. The location and design of facilities for motor vehicles, including parking lots, driveways, access roads, drive-through facilities, and service and fueling areas, shall visually complement the overall character of the district. The design of the site shall also conform to the following standards:
(a) 
Vehicular facilities shall not be located between the front of the building and the street.
(b) 
Access drives, driveways, and entrances or exits to drive-through services shall not pass between the building and the sidewalk where a sidewalk exists.
(c) 
Parking lots shall be located to the side or rear of the building.
(d) 
Overhead doors and service areas shall be located on the side or rear of the building and must be screened from view from a public street.
(e) 
Drive-through services shall be designed to keep vehicular activity to the side and/or rear of the building and shall prevent the queuing of vehicles between the front of the building and the street or in other areas where it is visually incompatible.
(9) 
Multiple buildings on a lot in the Town Hill Business District. In the Town Hill Business District, the layout of buildings on a lot shall reflect the layout of other lots in the district with multiple buildings. The arrangement of the buildings should be visually compatible with the street and with the buildings on the lot.
[Added 11-3-2009]
(10) 
Viewshed in Town Hill Business District. Building height and placement are subject to further review in the Town Hill Business District to determine any visual impacts to retain the vista along Route 102 from the Crooked Road intersection to the Pine Heath Road intersection.
[Added 11-3-2009]
C. 
Standards for materials and design details for structural projects. The following standards are intended to assure that proposals conform to the quality of design that has historically been associated with buildings within the district. The structural standards have been designed to promote compatibility with Bar Harbor's historic character and its scenic location. Certain types of design are inappropriate within the designated Design Review Overlay Districts since they will not meet these standards and thus do not enhance the existing visual character or preserve Bar Harbor's uniqueness.
[Amended 11-3-2009]
(1) 
Construction standards. With the advent of many new exterior materials, the standards are not intended to prohibit the use of all new materials. Therefore, any quality material that simulates traditional features will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. The following standards apply to the construction of new buildings, additions to existing buildings, reconstruction, and major renovations:
(a) 
Siding material.
[1] 
Siding is applied as the exposed surface on the outside walls of buildings to provide a barrier against the penetration and infiltration of weather and at the same time enhance the visual and architectural quality of the structure in keeping with other buildings in the district. The selected siding should be visually compatible with other exterior finishes on the building and with those buildings to which it is visually related.
[2] 
The siding used on the building should be a material that is in common use within the overlay district. The following are appropriate siding materials:
[a] 
Clapboards/shiplap.
[b] 
Shingles/shakes.
[c] 
Stucco/concrete. Stucco with wood trim interruption (English Tudor) is acceptable. Concrete block and poured or precast concrete are acceptable for foundation and fire walls but are generally not appropriate for wall surfaces that can be seen from a public street. Masonry products designed to replicate other appropriate materials are acceptable siding.
[d] 
Brick.
[e] 
Stone.
[f] 
Vinyl/metal siding. Vinyl or metal siding designed to replicate traditional siding material is appropriate but flat or corrugated metal or plastic panels are inappropriate as siding within the district.
[g] 
In the Town Hill Business District, barn board, and board and batten.
[3] 
Unfinished plywood or composite flat sheet products such as T-111 are not appropriate siding materials, except for areas that cannot be seen from a public street.
(b) 
Exterior finishes. The exterior finish of a structure represents the final completion stage. Although this stage is one of the simplest to alter, it is one of the most visible aspects of a building, therefore great care must be taken in the selection of the exterior finish for any structure. The following standards shall be used for determining acceptable finish choices:
[1] 
The colors shall be based upon the architectural style of the structure as well as the period in which it was built;
[2] 
The selected colors shall reflect hues and shades which were available in the era and style depicted;
[3] 
The paint colors shall be harmonious to and blend in with the immediately adjacent structures in the area.
(c) 
Windows.
[1] 
Windows are glassed openings in the exterior walls of buildings to admit light and air, allow for viewing, permit merchandise display, and to enhance the architectural beauty of the structure. The windows in a building shall be visually compatible. Almost any style is appropriate as long as the size is proportional to the building and maintains the architectural continuity of the building.
[2] 
Materials are appropriate if they simulate traditional materials or are visually compatible with other components of the building.
(d) 
Doors and doorways (in the Downtown Village Districts only).
[Amended 6-8-2010]
[1] 
Doors are a means of safe and orderly entrance to and egress from buildings. As the entrance to the building, the front or main door is often the focal point of the principal facade. Therefore, care must be taken in designing the doorway and selecting a door that is visually compatible with the structure.
[2] 
Doors and doorways shall conform to the following standards:
[a] 
Major store entrance doors shall be recessed from the property line so as not to interfere with pedestrian traffic when they are opened.
[b] 
Front doors shall have transoms above to the full height of store windows if this is consistent with the established pattern of other entrance doors.
(e) 
Roofing.
[1] 
Roofing is intended to protect the horizontal portions of a building from the penetration and infiltration of weather while maintaining the architectural integrity of the structure. The roofing material and color, if visible from a public street, shall be selected to be visually compatible with the style of the building and the other exterior finishes and colors.
[2] 
In the Downtown Village Districts, brightly colored metal, plastic or fiberglass roofing is visually incompatible with the character of the district and therefore inappropriate.
[Amended 6-8-2010]
[3] 
Other materials are appropriate if it is demonstrated that they are visually compatible with the overall building and its environs.
[4] 
In the Downtown Village Districts, appropriate roof colors include neutral shades such as earth tones, greys, and black. Bright or primary colors are not appropriate.
[Amended 6-8-2010]
(f) 
Trim.
[1] 
Trim is the molded and projecting woodwork or stonework which frames a building and its changes in direction in an aesthetically pleasing or bold fashion. The trim shall be visually compatible with the style of the building and the other exterior finishes.
[2] 
The following materials are appropriate for use as trim: wood, stone, brick, vinyl, and metal.
[3] 
Other materials are appropriate if it is demonstrated that they are visually compatible with the overall building.
[4] 
Trim materials may be mixed and matched as long as the style and color of the trim are consistent and visually compatible with the other elements of the building.
(g) 
Entrances.
[1] 
In the Downtown Village Districts, an entrance is much more than a doorway. It is a means of getting from the street to the front door and may include changes in grade, protection from the elements, and/or a degree of landscaping and lighting. The entrance to the building shall be visually compatible with the overall building treatment and should be the focal point of the facade. The entrance shall be designed and placed to have both a visual and functional relationship to the street and sidewalk.
[Amended 6-8-2010]
[2] 
The following are appropriate design treatments for entrances: porticos, porches, decks, steps/ramps, and canopies/awnings. Awnings and canopies must be attached to the structure and shall function as an extension of the building. Freestanding accessory structures such as tents or canopies at the front of the building are incompatible with the existing visual character of the district and shall not be allowed. Standards for awnings and canopies are in a later section.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Subsection D(1) of this section.
[3] 
The following are appropriate materials for use in entrances: wood, vinyl, tile, stucco, stone, brick, concrete, canvas, fiberglass, and metal.
[4] 
Other materials are appropriate if it is demonstrated that they are visually compatible with the overall building.
(2) 
Relocation/demolition standards. The demolition or relocation of the building should occur in a timely manner. After the relocation or demolition has occurred, the lot must be cleared, graded, and replanted within 30 days of the completion of the work and maintained until the lot is reused.
(3) 
Standards for seasonal closures.
(a) 
The Town of Bar Harbor discourages the seasonal boarding up of businesses. No matter how much effort is put into making these closures look attractive, they give the Town the appearance of being shut down, which is detrimental not only to those businesses that remain open and to potential customers, but also to local citizens and guests who view them during the off-season. The Board strongly discourages the placement of closure treatments involving the covering of display windows before January 1.
(b) 
Provisions for the seasonal closure of a business shall:
[1] 
Be visually compatible with the building.
[2] 
Be architecturally similar to the building materials, design, and color.
[3] 
Fit appropriately in the space being enclosed.
[4] 
Be safely and securely attached.
[5] 
Have a neat and clean appearance.
(c) 
The most appropriate approach to the seasonal closure of a business is for signs and window displays to remain in place. Where this is not possible or desirable, other appropriate approaches include leaving display spaces and windows empty, installing storm doors and windows, and installing wood panels or shutters over openings.
(d) 
Closure provisions that cover windows or display spaces with materials such as bed sheets, paper, tarps, cardboard, or bubble wrap or soaped or painted glass are inappropriate.
(e) 
Signs shall be left in place or removed. The covering or wrapping of signs with tarp or other plastic materials is not appropriate. The use of a canvas cloth covering the sign, and bearing the name of the business, is encouraged.
D. 
Standards for materials and design details for accessory projects. The following standards apply to projects that do not involve the actual structure of the building but significantly impact upon the visual environment and the compatibility of the building with the character of district. Separate standards are provided for awnings, canopies, and umbrellas, outdoor displays, lighting, and landscaping. The accessory standards have been designed to promote compatibility with the district's historic character and its scenic location.
(1) 
Standards for awnings, canopies, and umbrellas. The objective of the Town is to encourage property owners and businesses to make permanent improvements to the property in the district. Therefore, the use of temporary structures is discouraged. At the same time, the Board recognizes that awnings, canopies, and umbrellas can provide cover, add color, provide shade, and serve as a transition between the storefront and the upper facade in the case of awnings and canopies.
(a) 
General standards.
[1] 
Rigid or fixed awnings, sunscreens, umbrellas, or permanent canopies are not appropriate on any portion of the premises or building unless the proposed awning, sunscreen, umbrella, or permanent canopy is visually compatible with the building and its surrounding area considering the following:
[a] 
Its compatibility with the topography of the area.
[b] 
That it is customary and incidental to the activity being housed in the building or appropriate for that location due to unique circumstances.
[c] 
Its compatibility with similar elements of adjacent properties.
[d] 
That it is designed so that it will not cover unique or architecturally significant building features.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection D(1)(a)[2], concerning standards applicable to any awning or canopy, which immediately followed this subsection, was repealed 11-3-2009.
(b) 
Location and size of awnings and canopies.
[1] 
Awnings shall extend at least the full width of existing window and door frames on the first floor.
[2] 
Awnings on upper-floor windows shall be installed over individual windows and shall complement the window design, building architecture, and color.
[3] 
Canopies or awnings shall be attached to the building and not extend more than 12 feet from the wall (toward the street) to which they are attached. In the case where an awning follows another existing wall of the building at right angles (such as an L or a U), it may extend out to the point where it is parallel with the portion of the building closest to the street.
[4] 
Freestanding canopies or tents are inappropriate for ongoing use. Tents are appropriate for use for periods of not more than 72 hours with prior approval of the Code Enforcement Officer and shall only be used for appropriate outdoor functions, such as art shows, festivals, fairs, weddings, and similar events.
[5] 
A street level awning shall be at least 18 inches behind the curb.
(c) 
Awning design.
[1] 
Awning construction and materials offer different patterns and shapes. There are three basic shapes: 1/4 barrel, shed, and domes.
[2] 
The design review standards are not intended to restrict the shape of awnings; however, the design shall be visually compatible with and maintain the character of the building. Side panels on awnings are discouraged but are permitted if they are graphically treated so as to make the panel compatible with the overall design of the building.
(d) 
Awning color. The color of the material, and any graphics, stripping, or pattern, shall be compatible with the building architecture, materials, and color.
(e) 
Awning materials.
[1] 
The most common awning materials are canvas, vinyl, vinyl-coated canvas, and canvas-like synthetic materials. Glossy finish vinyl is not appropriate. Synthetic canvas is available in acrylics, polyesters, nylons, and other man-made materials. Any of these materials are appropriate.
[2] 
Metal awnings and glass canopies detract from the historic character of the community and are not appropriate.
(f) 
Awning lighting. Lighting shall conform to the requirements in § 125-67Z, Lighting Ordinance.
[Amended 6-9-2009]
(2) 
(Reserved)[3]
[3]
Editor'r Note: Former Subsection D(2), Standards for outdoor lighting, was repealed 11-4-2008.
(3) 
Landscaping standards. The landscaping standards are intended to maintain and enrich the character and beauty of the Town through the regulation of landscaping which provides aesthetically pleasing scenery, shelter and food for wildlife, natural boundaries and buffers for people, and the control of erosion. The landscaping in conjunction with the construction of a new building or an addition to existing buildings, or major landscaping projects that significantly alter the exterior appearance of a building that is used in whole or in part for nonresidential purposes, is subject to approval by the Design Review Board.
(a) 
Materials.
[1] 
Materials and types of vegetation for landscaping are too numerous to list and most are acceptable; however, the material chosen shall be visually compatible with the building.
[2] 
The use of invasive species as listed by the University of Maine Cooperative Extension is discouraged.
[Added 11-3-2009]
(b) 
Design. The design of the landscape should enhance the appearance of the building as well as the grounds. Landscaping shall not block unique architectural features of the building or appear disproportional to the lot and building size.
(c) 
Town Hill Business District plantings shall include street tree plantings. Parking areas shall be screened from Route 102. Shrubs and other materials shall enhance the buildings. All other requirements in § 125-67H shall be followed.
[Added 11-3-2009]
E. 
[4]Standards for historic buildings. The standards, as applicable in the opinion of the Design Review Board, outlined in the United States Secretary of the Interior's Standards for the Treatment of Historic Properties, as most recently updated, shall apply to all preservation measures, demolition, relocation and renovations of buildings and structures classified as historic in accordance with § 125-112D(1). Additionally, the following standards apply:
[Amended 11-2-2004]
(1) 
Preservation of an historic building. A building or structure classified as historic, or any part or appurtenance, including but not limited to stone walls, fences, light fixtures, steps, paving, and signs, shall only be moved, reconstructed, altered, or maintained in a manner which will preserve the historic and architectural character of the building, structure or appurtenance. Provisions for handicapped access as required by state and federal law shall be provided in a manner which preserves the historic and architectural character of the building or structure.
(2) 
Demolition of an historic building. The Design Review Board shall approve the issuance of a certificate of appropriateness for the demolition of an historic building only if the property owner shows that the preservation of the building is not consistent with the purposes of this article, that the building cannot be preserved because of the structural condition of the building, or the cost of renovations makes its retention infeasible.
(3) 
Relocation of an historic building. The Design Review Board shall approve the issuance of a certificate of appropriateness for the relocation of an historic building to another site only if it is shown that the preservation on its existing site is not consistent with the purposes of this article, that the building cannot be preserved because of the structural condition of the building, or the cost of renovations makes the retention infeasible.
(4) 
Renovation or expansion of an historic building.
(a) 
The design review requirements are intended to preserve and protect, improve, and enhance the historic or architecturally worthy buildings, structures, sites, monuments, streetscapes, squares and neighborhoods of the district. Those buildings classified as historic possess identified historic or architectural merit of a degree warranting their preservation. Any building designated as historic shall retain all of its original features to the maximum extent feasible. Modifications or additions shall maintain the architectural style and treatment of the original building.
(b) 
The following standards shall apply to the renovation or expansion of an historic building:
[1] 
All materials shall match the original materials in texture, dimension, color, location, and design.
[2] 
Existing features such as porches, steps, handrails, balusters, cornices, columns, lintels, windows, fixtures, hardware, doors, and roofs shall be retained.
[3] 
The design of any modification of or addition to the existing building shall maintain the architectural style of the existing building and shall conform to the existing treatment with respect to trim and exterior finishes.
[4] 
Handicapped access shall be located and constructed so as not to obscure character-defining features of the entranceway or porch.
[5] 
Porches and steps shall not be enclosed in a manner that destroys their intended appearance.
[6] 
The selected paint colors shall be consistent with Subsection C(1)(b).
[4]
Editor's Note: Former Subsection E, Standards for signs, as amended 11-4-2003, was repealed 6-9-2009. Said ordinance also redesignated former Subsection F as Subsection E.
F. 
Other standards.
[Added 11-3-2009]
(1) 
Town Hill Business District.
(a) 
A visual impact assessment shall be submitted to the Board to review the impacts from the development on the viewshed from Route 102 in a southwesterly direction.
(b) 
Building placement.
[1] 
Multiple buildings on a lot shall be arranged such that the smallest portion of a building, or the smallest building as proposed, shall be along the street.
[2] 
A principal building on a lot shall be arranged such that the narrowest width of the building faces the street.