MINOT – The March 3 vote approving the town’s revised Comprehensive Plan was upheld in Tuesday evening’s recount.

Following the second ballot count by election clerks Ramona Gould and Steve Holbrook, Town Clerk Nikki Verrill reaffirmed that the Comprehensive Plan was approved 171-162.

Six ballots were left blank and election warden Donald Verrill declared a 7th ballot void because it was marked ambiguously.

Roland “Ronnie” Berry, who submitted the petition calling for a recount, said he was satisfied that the vote had indeed favored passage of the Comprehensive Plan.

“I know it wouldn’t make any difference, but the vote that they threw out was clear to me should be a no’ vote,” Berry said. Verrill was relieved that there had been no change in the vote count.

“I was sure that they made a proper count (on election night) but, as clerk, I was just taking their results. It’s not the same as if you actually counted the ballots yourself and it’s good to know they were right,” Verrill said.

The Comprehensive Plan drew criticism at public hearings in August 2005 and in February 2006. Criticism centered chiefly on a recommendation in the Comprehensive Plan that the town’s Land Use Ordinance be amended to raise the minimum size of house lots in the more rural areas of town from two acres to five acres.

Passage of the Comprehensive Plan in of itself has not changed the Land Use Ordinance.

However, since the town has accepted the Comprehensive Plan as a guide for its growth, the town must now either adjust its Land Use Ordinances to achieve the goals of the plan or amend the plan.

At their March 13 meeting, selectmen appointed a committee to revise the town’s Land Use Ordinance. That committee is charged with the job of making recommendations for changing the ordinance that voters at the March 2007 town meeting will vote on.