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Zoning changes pass in Antrim; wind rules fail

ANTRIM – For the second straight year voters rejected a set of rules governing large-scale wind energy facilities in Antrim.

This year’s zoning amendment had less-restrictive environmental standards than last year, and allowed wind energy generators to be slightly louder, slightly closer to buildings and more visible.

Still, voters said no, by a 350-244 count, Tuesday.

The large-scale wind energy ordinances were first proposed in response to plans to build a 10-turbine facility on Tuttle Hill from Portsmouth-based Eolian Renewable Energy, through its subsidiary Antrim Wind Energy.

Voters did approve five other zoning amendments, including defining a cluster housing development as an area of land controlled by a landowner that can be developed as a single entity for a number of dwelling units.

A total of 616 voters cast ballots, or 36 percent of the town’s 1,709 registered voters.

In elections, selectman write-in candidate Bob Edwards came up 14 votes short of upending victor Michael Genest, who was on the ballot. Genest received 238 votes to 224 write-in votes for Edwards. Mary Sherbourne, with 110 votes, finished third in the race for a three-year seat.

Also, Stephen MacDonald won a tight race over Sarah Vanderwende for a three-year term on the planning board, 410-399; and Arthur Merrill edged Robert Flanders, 291-252, for a two-year term as moderator.

The race for a three-year term on the sewer and water commission was also close, with Melissa Lombard downing Fernando Barsanti, 257-224.

Elected without opposition: Kathryn Chisholm, cemetery trustee, three years; Paul Boule, trustee of trust funds, three years; Benjamin Pratt, treasurer, three years; Diane Chauncey, supervisor of the checklist, six years; Kara Penny, supervisor of the checklist, four years.

No candidates ran for the six available seats on the budget advisory committee, but several residents picked up write-in votes: Bob Edwards (28), Gordon Allen (23), Barbara Gard (20), Kara Penny (15), Dave Boule (10) and Shelly Nelkens (6).

Antrim’s town meeting will be held Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Memorial School gym.