To the Editor:
We will vote in favor of the Aspetuck Land Trust purchase of 18 acres on South Park Avenue.
Town residents voted in 2008 to purchase the South Park Property with the goal of controlling and preserving the land and protecting the Mill River while relieving the town of pressures and lawsuits from developers. We, the citizens of Easton, own this land; we are its stewards. The ten-acre parcel remaining after the ALT purchase should not be in danger of development unless we allow it.
Eastonites can be proud and grateful that over 50% of our town has been protected as open space. This is the result of over 50 years of volunteer diligence, hard work, and financial investment by residents, town boards and commissions, and organizations like Citizens for Easton (CFE) and the Aspetuck Land Trust. Beyond the abundant body of research into the benefits of open space in terms of health, clean air, clean water, wildlife habitat, recreation, and enhanced property values, studies have also shown that converting open space to developed land carries a greater tax burden than many realize.
The Aspetuck Land Trust has proven the quality of its stewardship, and where protection of the river has always been a town priority, we will vote for purchase of the 18 acres. That said, we agree that the entire parcel should be protected: it is up to all of us to make clear to our leaders our wish to preserve the rest of the land as well, whether by sale to the land trust or by deed restriction specifying conservation. To do so as a memorial to William Kupinse would be a wonderful tribute to our former First Selectman who dedicated himself to preserving Easton as the “Jewel of Fairfield County.”
Dave and Lea Sylvestro