Like their full-time resident counterparts, second-homeowners in both Windham and Grafton overwhelmingly rejected a proposal by Iberdrola Renewables to build a 24-turbine wind farm on property straddling the towns.
Second-homeowners in both towns had been mailed surveys asking whether they were for the proposed project, against it or, in the case of Grafton, were undecided.
Those opinions were tallied by both towns on Wednesday, separately from the official votes. The official votes were counted during Tuesday’s election and prompted Iberdrola to say late Tuesday night, through spokesman Paul Copleman, “As we’ve indicated, we’ll abide by the vote … we’ll cease development of the project.”
The company had promised that it would listen to the will of the majority of the registered voters of the towns in a vote taken during the General Election on Nov. 8.
Survey results mirror full-time residents’ votes
Grafton found that 152 second-homeowners were against the project, 35 were for it and 14 were undecided. Tuesday’s vote found that 235 registered voters in Grafton were against the project and 158 were for it.
In Windham, 171 second-homeowners were against the project, 16 were for it and three surveys came back defective. On Tuesday, of the registered voters in Windham, 180 were against the project and 101 were for it.
The second homeowners poll was started by Roy Giarusso, a non-resident homeowner of Windham, when Iberdrola said it did not want their votes taken during the Nov. 8 election and co-mingled with the registered voters ballots. Anti-wind activists in both town complained that since second-homeowners pay more in property taxes than full-time residents, they should have a say in the vote.
Windham resident David Crittenden said that Friends of Windham helped with its survey “to promote inclusiveness.” He added that 300 surveys had been sent to non-resident Windham homeowners.
Of the vote, Grafton Select Board member John Turner said, “To me, the important thing is that it is a very homogeneous feeling in both towns. This is a very cohesive result for both residents and non-residents.”
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