NRCM news release
Today at their public meeting in Dover Foxcroft, the Maine Land Use Regulation Commission voted 5-0 to unanimously reject a proposed 70 lot subdivision at Burnt Jacket Mountain on Moosehead Lake.
This discussion and vote is seen by many as indicative of how LURC might proceed during their deliberation on Plum Creek’s massive development proposal for 975 houses and two large resorts scattered in dozens of subdivisions around the Moosehead Lake region.
In response to the LURC staff recommendation, Diano Circo, North Woods Policy Advocate for the Natural Resources Council of Maine said:
“A beautiful part of Moosehead Lake has been protected from a badly designed development.
“The staff recommendation includes very significant conclusions about the importance of protecting the Moosehead Lake region from unbridled construction of seasonal homes that are not affordable to the average Maine citizen – and which damage the scenic and remote values of the area.
“The recommendation states very strongly that new development should be near existing developed areas, and should not contribute to sprawl.
“Staff concluded that this development would degrade the existing, unspoiled nature of the most remote part of the Burnt Jacket peninsula.
“We believe today’s unanimous vote has strong implications for Plum Creek’s proposal to build nearly 1,000 houselots in sprawling subdivisions all the way around Moosehead Lake – including in many places even more remote and less appropriate for development than the Burnt Jacket peninsula.
“This recommendation shows us that LURC is taking seriously its commitment to the protection of Maine’s scenic beauty and remote character.”
NRCM testified in opposition to this development proposal and LURC staff recommended that the commission reject the Burnt Jacket Mountain proposal.
The LURC staff recommendation states:
- “The location of the proposed development does not conserve and protect the natural beauty and unspoiled qualities of the waters, shorelands, scenic vistas, and trails, in order to protect their values for a range of public recreational resources.”
- “The commission concludes that the size and location of the proposal, 70 residential dwellings, does not satisfy the Commission’s Comprehensive Land Use Plan and its required criteria for orderly growth within and proximate to existing, compatibly developed areas, i.e., existing development of similar type, occupancy, scale and intensity to that being proposed.”
- “The small amount of dispersed development (relative to the amount of proposed development) already within the Burnt Jacket peninsula within a mile of the proposed development is not a compatible type of development, as it is not of a similar scale or intensity of use.”
- “The petitioner has not demonstrated that the project satisfies a demonstrated need in the community or area.…To the contrary, according to information on the record, of the residential lots in the existing Beaver Cove development, 52 are vacant residential lots.”
- “The proposal would likely have an undue adverse impact on traditional uses.”
- “…adequate provision has not been made to maintain the character of the unusually pristine, natural and visually prominent shoreland…”
- “Within the petitioner’s ownership there are far more appropriate areas suitable for development.”
- “Rezoning is not an entitlement. Petitioner purchased this land with a full understanding of its current zoning and restrictions on development.”