St. George to vote on zoning changes
St. George — Polls will be open Tuesday, Jan. 22, from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. for residents to vote whether to change current Commercial Fishing Marine Activity zones to Limited Commercial zoning for selected properties in town.
The properties include Cod End restaurant in Tenants Harbor, the East Wind Inn in Tenants Harbor, as well as the Port Clyde General Store complex, said Code Enforcement Officer Terry Brackett and Selectman Bill Reinhardt. Sunshine LLC of Tenants Harbor is also requesting a change to limited commercial zoning.
A resident of Tenants Harbor is seeking a commercial fishing zone change to a marine residential district.
Brackett said if the zones are changed, it will put the properties into compliance with zoning — as some are not now — with businesses and residences on properties designated as marine activities zones.
The subject was breached at a November planning board meeting, when new owner of the East Wind Inn, Randy Deutsch, said financing on his mortgage required the zone change. Additionally, renovations to the building are not allowed under the current zone. The inn was granted a non-conforming use status within the Commercial Fisheries and Marine Activities Zone, which was enacted in 1973.
When Deutsch acquired the property, it was no longer grandfathered in the zone, and must be brought up to codes, according to planning board meeting minutes.
Deutsch said he would like it changed to a limited commercial zone to make the renovations.
Brackett said some are concerned if changes are adopted, fishermen will lose access to the water.
"The change will not alter work habits," Brackett said. Limited commercial zoning would give property owners more options, allowing residential and commercial activity, he added.
Reinhardt reiterated it will only allow more flexibility to property owners and not affect fishermen.
Courier Publications reporter Juliette Laaka can be reached at 594-4401 ext. 118 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.