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Updated: May 23, 2023

Bar Harbor approves first employee housing complex, with 16 units

line drawing of rooms Courtesy / Ritz-Craft, Witham Family Hotels Witham Family Hotels plans to build a 16-bedroom dormitory at one of its Bar Harbor properties.

In recent years, the town of Bar Harbor has tackled a shortage of affordable workforce housing with a change to its zoning ordinance that allows the construction of employee living quarters.

The town council recently awarded a major hotelier in the area, Witham Family Hotels, the first permit under the new rule.

The application, submitted by Witham Family Hotels owner David Witham, proposes employee living quarters on-site at the company’s Atlantic Oceanside Hotel & Conference Center at 119 Eden St.

The accommodations will have 16 furnished bedrooms of about 80 square feet per room and will house a maximum of 16 employees. The building will be constructed as a duplex, with each unit having eight individual bedrooms, two shared bathrooms and one community kitchen, according to the application. Washers and dryers will be provided.

Receiving no comment on the application, the council closed the hearing and awarded the permit, the first of its kind for Bar Harbor.

Witham Family Hotels, headquartered in Ellsworth, owns and operates 13 hotel properties along the coast of Maine, including nine in Bar Harbor.

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