Easton voters on Tuesday approved placing a conservation restriction on the remaining 10.9 acres of land at 18-22 South Park Avenue.

According to unofficial results from the Easton Town Clerk, voters approved the following referendum question with 804 voting “Yes” and 87 voting “No”: Shall the Town of Easton restrict the use of a town-owned, 10.9-acre parcel of property located at 18-22 South Park Ave., as set forth in the proposed Conservation Restriction?”

“For the first time in a generation, at least, the people of Easton will wake up knowing that this property will be preserved in perpetuity,” said First Selectman David Bindelglass.

The restriction resulted from a Special Town Meeting that was held on May 31 after a group of residents secured more than 700 petition signatures requiring town officials to convene the meeting. According to the official meeting minutes, the town instructed the Board of Selectmen to “place a permanent conservation easement or restriction on the remaining portion of the real property.”

Today’s town-wide referendum gave voters the opportunity to approve a version of a conservation restriction document that had undergone several revisions by the Board of Selectmen and the town attorney, and with input from local community groups.

“None of this would be possible without the close relationship and support of the Aspetuck Land Trust and also the support of Citizens for Easton, and the town is grateful for that,” Bindelglass said.

Verne Gay, the president of Citizens For Easton , said he was thrilled at the outcome, and over-joyed at the turnout. 

“Nearly a thousand came to vote, the vast majority in favor of preservation. I would like to think this is a mandate for preservation, and perhaps hopefully it is exactly that,” he said.

But he urged caution citing Citizen For Easton’s founding exactly 50 years ago to halt development on the property. 

“ I’d hope this says clearly to everyone, from Hartford to our own leaders — that Easton is for preservation. Open space is precious and more precious with each passing year. In Easton, three-quarters of which is watershed, it is especially precious. It’s vitally important that we preserve zoning and we continue to seek preservation of open space throughout Easton,” he said.

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