January 28, 2021

Bar Harbor Club vote draws massive turnout

BAR HARBOR — Because of large turnout at the polls here Tuesday, final results on a controversial referendum regarding the Bar Harbor Club’s future were not available late Tuesday.

More than 2,000 residents — more than 50 percent of the town’s registered voters — cast ballots in Tuesday’s election, Town Clerk Jean Barker reported late Tuesday night.

Because of state law, results of statewide candidates’ races and statewide referendum issues must be counted before local elections or referendum items are tabulated.

Outside the polls Tuesday, many residents said they were drawn to vote solely because of the Bar Harbor Club issue which has dominated town discussion during the past several months.

Residents were asked whether the town should create a new zone for the historic West Street property that would allow owner Tom Walsh to use the club as a conference center and to build an adjoining hotel. Because the town’s planning board recommended against the zoning change, a two-thirds majority of Tuesday’s votes is needed for it to pass.

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