Owls Head selectmen send lighthouse project to voters

By George Chappell | Jan 28, 2013
Photo by: George Chappell The former lighthouse keeper's house at Owls Head light will become a museum of the American Lighthouse Foundation if voters approve changes in the zoning and shoreland zoning ordinances at a special town meeting Feb. 19, at 7 p.m. at the Owls Head Community Building.

Owls Head — The selectmen on Jan. 22 voted 3-0 to send two ordinances affecting the lighthouse keeper's home to a special town meeting.

The proposed vote Tuesday, Feb. 19, at 7 p.m. at the Owls Head Community Building will ask voters whether to enact an amendment to a local zoning ordinance and another amdendment to the Shoreland Zoning ordinnace.

The board's action this week followed a Jan. 9 planning board vote to more the project along.

Code Enforcement Officer Scott Bickford said Friday, Jan. 25, that a town vote will have to be sent to the state before the ordinance can become amended.

Members of the American Lighthouse Foundation were present Jan. 22 to witness the vote allowing the keeper's house to become an office, gift shop and interpretative center, or museum.

The group plans to lease the keeper's house next to the Owls Head Light from the U.S. Coast Guard for five years and make it the national headquarters for the foundation, which currently has an office in Rockland. The Coast Guard will still own the property.

"The American Lighthouse Foundation would be responsible for the upkeep of the building and for the plowing of the road in, and the utilities" Robert Trapani, executive director of the foundation said at a previous meeting.

Bickford said the state's Department of Economic and Community Development would also have to approve the changes. He said he had already sent the state a copy of the proposed changes in the ordinances.

Selecmen on Jan. 22 also voted to recommend that Freedom Drive become a town road.

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