Rindge votes down zoning changes
RINDGE - Voters flocked to the polls Tuesday for multiple contested races and controversial zoning articles.
Tuesday at Rindge Memorial School, 1,504 or 36 percent of the town's 4,130 registered voters turned out to Town Meeting in the Official Ballot town.
"For a local election I don't think I can remember a larger turn out," said Town Moderator David Tower.
Tower, who has been town moderator for the past 42 years, was reelected uncontested with 1,229 votes.
He said the last local election brought out about 850 voters.
Tower said the large turnout was likely a combination of the nice weather, which made it easy for voters to get to the polls, and the high interest in the contested races and zoning articles that opposition to the articles said would change the small town into a bustling center.
"If all this goes through it's really going to change the rural characters of Rindge," said Larry Cleveland outside the polls Tuesday evening. "People move to Rindge for the quality of life."
Cleveland led a town movement to oppose the zoning changes after he said he learned federal HUD funds accepted by the town to further the planning process mandated the town propose zoning amendments as a result of the planning charrettes the grants funded.
His movement was successful. Voters said no 969 to 434 to adopting the proposed Crossroads Overlay District that would have allowed mixed use, higher-density development in a limited area with the goal of serving as the primary center for local commerce and community activity around the Route 202 and Route 119 intersection.
Reducing minimum frontage to at least 100 feet and lot sizes to at least one acre in the Village district was also voted down 963 to 494.
Reducing lot sizes in the College district to at least one acre was voted down 914 to 544.
In the races for elected offices Robert A. Hamilton unseated incumbent Samuel R. Seppala 784 to 635.
Tax Collector Carol E. Donovan held onto her position against challenger Carol M. Cersosimo 1,039 to 347.
In a heated planning board race Jonah Ketola with 795 votes and Samuel Bouche with 740 votes won the two open seats against Holly B. Kosko with 535 votes and Tim Halliday with 476 votes.
William W. Thomas with 724 votes won the open seat on the Zoning Board of Adjustment against Martin Kulla who received 505 votes.