Boothbay says no to TIF
The people have spoken.
Over 1,100 voters passed through the Boothbay Town Office on November 5. In one of the closest elections in recent history, Boothbay voters rejected every article on the local ballot.
As voters exited the polls, many speculated it would be a close race. By 8:15 p.m. results showed a near split decision on every article. The TIF was rejected 516 votes to 626. The municipal bond lost 444 votes to 625. The planning board's zoning ordinance amendments were defeated 426 to 626. The citizen-initiated petition by David Stimson to allow commercial boatbuilding in residential districts lost 499 to 556.
However, Boothbay voters approved all five bond questions on the state ballot.
Boothbay Harbor Country Club owner Paul Coulombe said he plans to go forward with developing the golf course, and board of selectmen chairman Steve Lewis said it's unclear if a TIF will be pursued in the future.
“I'm disappointed that the TIF didn't go through and the ordinances, but what are you going to do?” Lewis said. “There was very strong opinions on both sides, which is not necessarily a bad thing. That's democracy.”
The planning board's recommendation to change commercial boat building into a home occupation was defeated, perhaps because it came packaged with 31 other ordinance changes, including a controversial sign ordinance.
“The mistake we made, and what we'll have to try to fix that the next time, is grouping all the ordinances together,” Lewis said. “If I would have thought for a minute that anything was going to be controversial then we would have broke them out for sure.
“There nothing we can do about it now; you learn and move forward.”
According to the planning board, Question 4 came grouped together under the legal advice of town attorney Sally Daggett. Question 4 was defeated by 200 votes, the largest margin of defeat.
The smallest margin of defeat was Question 5. Boatbuilder David Stimson petitioned local government to allow commercial boat building and repair in a general residential district. He lost by 57 votes.
With no changes to the zoning ordinances, Stimson can still repair small scale boats on his property under a conditional use permit he obtained from the Boothbay planning board last March.
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