READFIELD — At least 1,000 residents voted Tuesday at the Kents Hill School’s Harold & Ted Alfond Athletic Center, many favoring all nine local items in a special town meeting/election, according to unofficial results.

The questions fell under two categories: internet expansion and land use ordinances.

Voters approved the first internet question, which asked if voters were interested in beginning negotiation agreements with one or more third party service providers for high speed internet service. A total of 780 voted in favor with 220 voting against it.

The majority also favored the second question, which asks if voters would allow the town to accept and spend state, federal or private grant money on behalf of either the Western Kennebec Lakes Community Broadband Association — a six-town collective working toward expanding internet access — or the town itself. Altogether, 731 were in favor with 267 opposed.

For the final broadband question, which asked if voters would allow the town to appropriate up to $5 million to establish high speed fiber internet in Readfield, voters were also in favor, with 692 voting for it and 292 voting against it.

The Select Board is planning a future town meeting in which final approval of a broadband program would also be up to a vote.


Voters narrowly approved the first land use ordinance question, which asks if they would support making amendments to nonconforming structures or structures that do not meet current setback requirements. Specifically, the question asks if voters would approve clarifying that if any portion of a nonconforming structure is within a 100-foot setback or less, then the entire structure can’t be expanded beyond the limits allowed in the most restrictive setback area. It also allows for up to a 50% reduction in side and rear setbacks for nonconforming structures and expansion if they increase the distance between the structure and a body of water. A total of 459 were in favor with 454 voting no.

The next land ordinance question, which asks for an amendment to designate a district for large scale commercial or industrial structures such as utility plants, passed with 507 yes votes and 408 no votes.

Voters narrowly passed a question asking if village district setbacks could be allowed to be reduced by up to 5 feet for accessory structures, provided there is no alternative location that meets setbacks to the greatest practical extent, with 474 in favor and 441 opposed.

Residents approved the next land use question, asking if voters would approve proposed changes to a common definition of service businesses and allowing them in the Academic District, where they were not previously permitted; 486 voted yes and 426 voted no.

The next question, asking if voters would approve updating the list of reference ordinances to include a solar ordinance that was adopted June 8, was accepted with 546 yes votes and 362 no votes.

And for the last question, 504 voters favored and 398 voters rejected a proposed change to the land use ordinance that requires subdivision approvals, amendments and other plan modifications to be recorded with the Kennebec County Registry of Deeds and establishes requirements for documentation.

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