Flags fly outside the Tremont town office in this 2019 file photo. Credit: Bill Trotter

Tremont voters on Monday adopted new development standards for campgrounds, requiring a minimum of 10,000 square feet per campsite and limiting individual developments to no more than 45 sites.

The new standards, which were approved by a 251-79 vote, also include a 75-foot setback from abutting property lines. They replace less strict standards that required a minimum of 5,000 square feet per site, a setback of 50 feet, and had no limit on the number of sites per development.

The more restrictive measures were proposed after controversy arose surrounding plans to develop a luxury camping property near Goose Cove. Acadia Wilderness Lodge had sought to develop 154 sites total at property at the intersection of Route 102 near Kelleytown Road. Of those sites, 72 were to be for recreational vehicles, 42 for cabins and 40 for canvas tent platforms.

Later, the scope of the proposal was scaled back to 54 sites total — 18 yurts, rather than cabins, and 36 canvas tent platforms. The RV sites were removed from the proposal.

The revised plan was approved by the planning board in November, but a citizens’ group called Concerned Tremont Residents challenged the approval.

Last week the town’s appeal board overturned the planning board decision after finding it had erred on two points: The planning board should have included an adjacent site where the lodge has approval to erect eight yurts — separate from the 18 yurts in the 54-site proposal — in its review of the overall campground project, and it should have used newer standards for setbacks and site requirements that the town adopted as the lodge was scaling back its proposal.

Town officials have said that the lodge owners have indicated that they plan to contest the appeals board ruling in Hancock County Superior Court.

In the only contested election in Tremont, incumbent chairman James Thurlow was re-elected to a 3-year term on the town’s select board with 181 votes. Runner-up Jayne Ashworth received 149 votes, 32 fewer than Thurlow.

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....