To the Editor:
On December 13th there will be a machine vote referendum relating to the remaining 10.9 acres of land at 18-22 South Park Avenue.
As many residents know, the Town acquired 18-22 South Park back in 2008. A significant portion of the property was sold to Aspetuck Land Trust last year. By Town Meeting, in May, the Town voted to place a conservation restriction on these remaining 10.9 acres, directing the Board of Selectman to create a document for Town approval.
Since May, consistent with that directive, the Board of Selectman has worked with various town property owners, local groups and outside counsel to prepare this restriction which is now available on the Town website. We believe those efforts have resulted in a well-considered document which thoughtfully addresses all relevant matters such as the definition of recreational use, how the existing tenancy will proceed and other particulars of the scope of the restriction. Specifically,
- Under the restriction there will never be any new structures upon, or commercial use of, the property.
- Permanent access for the benefit of the public is assured.
- Non-impactful uses such as hiking and picnics are permitted but motorized vehicles, bicycles, and drones are not.
- Farming activities are possible in the future but are subject to the approvals of the Agricultural and Conservation Commissions.
- Cut paths and park benches are permitted.
- Uses for athletic fields or Town events would require a further Town Meeting.
- The existing tenants may continue their use. After this tenancy, the existing buildings may be used for Town purposes or other noncommercial uses.
These terms reflect well upon Easton’s identity and important role in Fairfield County as protector of green spaces. The restriction will dovetail with adjacent land preserved by Aspetuck Land Trust (ALT) protecting a large area of ecological sensitive land around the Mill River.
We encourage everyone to vote yes at the December 13th referendum.
David Bindelglass & Andrew Kupinse