Design Review Board


During the pandemic, the Design Review Board has been meeting remotely via Zoom. This will continue until such time as it is deemed safe to return to in-person meetings. During this time of remote meetings, the requirement for 10 paper copies of Design Review Board applications has been waived. One paper and/or digital copy (PDF) can be submitted, and will be distributed to board members and staff via email. For additional questions, please contact Assistant Planner Steve Fuller at (207) 288-3329 or by email at

Applications for May 13, 2021 meeting
The following applications for Certificates of Appropriateness will be reviewed by the Design Review Board at its meeting on Thursday, May 13, 2021 at 4 PM (full agenda can be viewed here):


  • The second Thursday of every month, as well as the fourth Thursday (March-June)
  • New applications are due the Thursday prior to the meeting date
  • Meetings are held at 93 Cottage St., Bar Harbor, ME 04609 (note: meetings are being conducted remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic)
  • 2021 meeting schedule (please note new start time of 4 PM)

Agendas & Minutes

Agendas are available prior to the meetings. Minutes are available following approval.
Most Recent AgendaView All Agendas and Minutes

Contact the Design Review Board

Email the entire Design Review Board at

Please note: Sending an email to this address will go to all members of the Design Review Board listed below, as well as town staff members in the Planning and Code Enforcement office: Planning Director Michele Gagnon, Code Enforcement Officer Angela Chamberlain, Deputy Code Enforcement Officer Mike Gurtler, Assistant Planner Steve Fuller and Administrative Assistant Tammy DesJardin.

If the message relates to a particular application before the Design Review Board, that email will also be provided to the applicant. Any message sent to this email address is also considered a public record and may be subject to a request under the Maine Freedom of Access Act. Information that you wish to keep confidential should not be included in email correspondence to this address.

Contact information for individual Design Review Board members is not provided, as anything sent to individual member(s) of the board and not all parties involved in the review of a particular application would constitute ex parte communication.


  • Barbara Sassaman, Chair
    Term expires 2023
  • Vacancy
    Term expires 2024
  • Francis "Pancho" Cole
    Term expires 2021
  • Vacancy
    Term expires 2023
  • Andrew Geel
    Term expires 2022
  • Vacancy
    Term expires 2023
  • Peter Bono
    Term expires 2022

Additional Information

The Design Review Board reviews all projects which are located within their jurisdiction. Their jurisdiction includes the Downtown Village Districts, the Shoreland General Development I District, Town Hill Business, and the Village Historic District. However, regardless of the district location, any conditionally permitted use or property which houses a bed and breakfast is subject to design review.

Board Process

The Design Review Board must review applications for demolition of structures which are historic, the moving or relocation of a building or sign which is historic, any exterior material change to the exterior of a historic building, sign, fence, or structure. Any new construction of principal or accessory structures, except for single or two family dwellings. Any material change to the exterior of a non historic building, sign, fence, or structure. Any change in existing fences, retaining walls, or freestanding walls, the erection of a new sign, relocation of an existing sign, change of appearance of an existing sign, and seasonal closure of businesses. However, it is advisable to meet with the Code Enforcement/Planning Department staff to determine whether or not Design Review Board approval is required.

A building permit is required for all activities except painting, regardless of approval by any other reviewing body.

Certificate of Appropriateness

In order to ensure the aesthetic quality of Bar Harbor is preserved, the town requires a certificate of appropriateness from the Design Review Board before many changes to the exterior of buildings, or the addition of a sign can be made. Examples of construction or renovation projects that require a certificate of appropriateness include:
  • Demolition or relocation of a historic building
  • Changes to the exterior appearance of an historic or non-historic building including:
    • Windows and doors
    • Williamsburg exterior paint colors - if colors are chosen from the approved design review board color charts (also available in Planning Office) then a Design Review Board Certificate of Appropriateness is not required
    • Siding and roofing
    • Awnings
  • Landscape lighting
  • Construction of a new commercial building or an addition to an existing commercial building
  • Installation or changes in fences or freestanding walls
  • Installation or changes in signage including sandwich boards
  • Installation or changes in outdoor storage or display including vending machines
  • Plans for seasonal closure

Application for Certificate of Appropriateness

Below are links to applications for specific types of projects:

Design Rules