The red line shows the new boundary of the Mitchell Field Marine Business District. The hatched area will be removed from the district.

At the March 11 town meeting, Harpswell voters will be asked to approve a change to the boundaries of the Mitchell Field Marine Business District and a corresponding change to the shoreland zoning map.

The Mitchell Field Marine Business District, as laid out in the original Mitchell Field Master Plan from 2007, comprises 9.5 acres. It was initially proposed to be two separate, abutting zones. Subsequently, the two zones were combined to give the town more flexibility when negotiating with a business.

This combined zone wraps around but does not include the administration building, nor the waterfront area in front of the building. As can be seen on the diagram (hatched area) this limits the town’s ability to do anything at the waterfront that might require access to more land in the lower meadow. The Marine Business District also includes joint-use access to the causeway.

The diagram highlights a change, recommended by the Mitchell Field Committee, that will give the town more flexibility to make improvements at the waterfront while retaining the original acreage of the Marine Business District. The redrawn boundary, shown in red, retains 9.5 acres for the Marine Business District; does not interfere with Running Tide Technologies’ ability to lease more land, as has been negotiated; and provides more usable land for a potential business, as some of the original district behind the admin building would not have been usable.

The town is voting on changes to the shoreland zoning map. All the land in the Mitchell Field Marine Business District is one zone. This makes it easy for a business to comply with just one set of criteria throughout the zone.

All the land removed from the Marine Business District within 250 feet of the highest annual tide line will revert to the Shoreland Residential Zone. All land beyond 250 feet will be in the Interior Zone.

Finally, all changes to shoreland zoning maps must be approved by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection. The town has presented these changes to DEP staff for review and received department approval to proceed with a town vote. The plan has also been approved by the Harpswell Planning Board. Once approved at town meeting, the DEP will give final approval to the changes.

Questions about this proposal may be submitted via email: