Friday, November 19, 2010
Recreation Commission asked to weigh in on possible land option
On Tuesday night, Conservation Commissioner Sylvia Willard and Conservation Restriction Advisory Committee (CRAC) member Wayne Davis spoke to the Recreation Commission (RecCom) about a possible location for a new ball field.
A parcel of land (Map 7, Parcel 8A) off South Street may be coming out of tax classification chapter 61B in which case the town would have the right of first refusal to buy it. The owner of the property has an offer from a developer but the developer’s offer is for the entire 19 acres that comprise parcels 8A and 8. There is no offer for just parcel 8A (13 acres) so the town does not have a price to accept or refuse. Since there is not a technically correct offer, the clock of 120 days for the town to make a decision has not started ticking.
The owner would like to know from the town if there is interest in exercising the right of first refusal before asking the developer for a more specific offer.
According to Willard, several town officials have walked through the property and all have commented, upon seeing the beautiful, flat field in the back, “this would be a perfect soccer field!” The back corner of the land abuts 41 feet of the Benfield property. If the town does not choose to buy the property, Willard is at least hopeful the developer will allow a trail from South Street to the Benfield property, allowing walkers to get off the narrow busy street and provide access to the soon-to-be built viewing platform on Benfield.
Davis and Willard both stressed they are working at a preliminary conceptual stage. They are just beginning to ascertain whether or not there is interest within various town boards. Willard wanted to make sure RecCom was included in the discussion very early on in the process.
Spears said that the RecCom would not be opposed to exploring the possibility. Members of the group made arrangements to walk the property over the weekend. ∆
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