BAR HARBOR, Maine — Local voters will face several proposed land use ordinance changes when they go to the polls Tuesday, including one that would require cell phone towers and other wireless communication facilities to be at least 1,500 feet away from schools and day care centers.

Such infrastructure in Bar Harbor now has to be 500 feet away from schools. The proposal was prompted by residents who approached town officials with concerns that the concentrated wireless signals could have an adverse effect on the health of children if they are exposed to such signals for long periods of time.

Voters will have the chance to cast their ballots from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at the Bar Harbor Town Office on Cottage Street.

Local voters also will be asked to consider creating a six-seat charter commission that would consider possible changes to the town charter, such as changing the number of Town Council seats. Any recommendations the commission might make ultimately would have to be approved by voters at a later, undetermined date before charter changes would go into effect.

Most of the other proposed zoning amendment changes focus on changes in ordinance definitions, wording or procedure. Other proposed land use ordinance changes would affect or include:

– Allowing temporary storage facilities at construction sites.

– Redefining how the official height of buildings in the downtown district should be measured.

– Changing the definition of “gross leasable area.”

– The wording of the town’s setback regulations.

– Reporting requirements for owners of weekly rental vacation properties.

– Amending the deadlines for submitting materials to the planning board.

– Eliminating a size limitation on residential garages.

– Planned unit development guidelines.

– Updates to the town’s shoreland zoning ordinance.

Bill Trotter

A news reporter in coastal Maine for more than 20 years, Bill Trotter writes about how the Atlantic Ocean and the state's iconic coastline help to shape the lives of coastal Maine residents and visitors....