Warrant Committee Has A Lot To Deliberate About

Bar Harbor’s committee takes on cruise ships, pot, two-thirds amendment and historic properties Thursday night

Carrie Jones

5 min ago

BAR HARBOR—The 15-member Warrant Committee will met in the Bar Harbor Municipal Building’s Council Chambers at 7 p.m. to deliberate and create recommendations for five pending November ballot articles.

Voters have final say on these articles, but when they read the ballot, they will see if the Warrant Committee supports the measures or not. These meetings are open to the public and you can watch live at home to get the full understanding of the discussions.

Here’s what the committee will be deliberating about.


A citizen’s petition suggests creating guidelines for daily disembarkations from cruise ships onto Bar Harbor property (public and private). This plan is not the same plan that the town council endorsed in a split decision this August. This plan, if passed, would cap daily cruise ship disembarkations to 1,000 passengers or less. It would also require the town’s harbormaster to create a reservation system for transporting passengers off cruise ships and also creates a counting mechanism. Then the town’s code enforcement office would have to ensure compliance. Lack of compliance would be $100 per passenger who wasn’t authorized to disembark. The changes would go into effect after March 17, 2022, which means it would be a retroactive change.


This is about the potential removal of the two-thirds majority voting requirement at town meetings to amend the town’s land use ordinance. The warrant article would allow Land Use Ordinance amendments a simple majority vote rather than two-thirds majority to change the town rules if the Bar Harbor Planning Board (which hears the proposed amendment first and has a public hearing) votes against the adoption of the change. If the planning board is in favor of the adoption, it currently just needs to pass via a simple majority vote at the town meeting. This would not change.


One citizen’s petition to amend the land use ordinance would allow retail marijuana stores in four/five districts within Bar Harbor. A second citizen’s petition involves the licensing of those adult-use marijuana stores

The setback standards for the two potential retail stores would only follow state guidelines rather than town guidelines. State law says that the recreational-use retail store would have to be 1000 feet from a school.

A proposed retail store in Downtown Village 1 would not need planning board approval and review, but only code enforcement officer approval.

Bar Harbor voters voted against a similar petition with broader reach last June.


The town typically reviews historic properties each year. Any changes in wording, removals, additions, must be approved by voters.


According to the town’s charter (article VII), the 15-member committee is elected and comprised of people who are “qualified to vote in elections in the Town of Bar Harbor and have been registered to vote for one year prior to their election.”

According to that article:

“It shall be the duty of any duly elected Warrant Committee to consider, investigate and report upon with recommendations or comments all articles except those dealing with election of candidates in the warrant of all Town Meetings, whether annual or special. When requested to do so, it shall be the duty of Town officers and committees to meet with the Warrant Committee or any of its subcommittees and to furnish all information relative to matters being considered by said Committee or subcommittee.”

It also makes recommendations about the budget articles and gives those to the Bar Harbor Town Council.

Warrant Committee members courtesy of Town of Bar Harbor website.



To talk to all committee members, email here: warrant@barharbormaine.gov

Split Warrant Committee Rules Two Members Do Not Have Conflicts of Interest When Listening To Cruise Ship Petition Discussion

The Warrant Committee’s Bylaws are here.

Marijuana, cruise ships and two-thirds majority rule on town council’s agenda

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