PARIS — Voters in Paris rejected the town’s proposed Land Management Ordinance roughly 2 to 1 during Tuesday’s election.

Residents voted 419-198 against the ordinance, according to Town Clerk Liz Knox.

A total of 666 voters weighed in on the document, along with the statewide clean elections and bond questions. Forty-two votes were cast absentee and 624 voters cast their ballots at the polls.

Previously, there had been controversy surrounding the ordinance and the town’s Comprehensive Plan, with both documents laying out ways to govern land use in town. The Comprehensive Plan first had to be modified before the Land Management Ordinance could be brought to a vote, because the documents did not jive.

At a town meeting in June, voters approved the amendment to the plan to make minimum residential rural lot sizes 1 acre with 150 feet of road frontage.

The ordinance was modified in September to give the same requirements. The dimensions were a compromise between two groups: One championed larger lot sizes and keeping the town’s rural nature; the other worried larger requirements would stifle development and didn’t want limitations on what people could do with their land.

The ordinance’s mission is “to implement the provisions of the town’s Comprehensive Plan; to conserve the natural resources; to provide orderly growth and appropriate land uses and to promote the health, safety and welfare of the community.” It also would have divided the town into five land use districts, including the General Growth District, South Paris Main Street District, Rural District, Paris Hill Historic District and Route 26 Corridor District.

Town Manager Amy Bernard said last week that if the ordinance did not pass, there is no obligation by the Board of Selectmen or any committee to bring forth an additional or modified ordinance.

Robert Jewel received 536 votes for a seven-month term as a School Administrative District 17 director, which is up in June.

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2015 Election Coverage

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