To: Board of Selectman June 12, 2009
From: Adam Turner
RE: McDonald Road Land Acquisition
The Town has been approached regarding the purchase of a 31-acre piece of property located on McDonald Road directly adjacent to the Ruby Cohen property. The land would be conveyed to the town by way of fee simple transfer through the estate of Mary-Claire Flemming.
The property is 31-acres in size and is directly linked to the Ruby Cohen property nature preserve located at 86 McDonald Rd. The Ruby Cohen property and the surrounding town owned land totals about 142-acres.
The parcel considered for acquisition is almost entirely flat, wooded, with significant amount of wetlands including a stream which runs through the property. The parcel is within the town of Colchester’s Aquifer Protection Zone and is within one of the towns “greenways” as identified in the Open Space Plan. Due to the large amount of undeveloped land in this area, there is an abundant amount of wildlife that resides on these properties.
The site is restricted to development due to the wetlands and the stream. If development was proposed, it is likely that no more than two houses and septic systems could be installed.
The property was assessed at $220,000. The total proposed cost of purchase is $182,000 which is proposed to be paid by the Town ($140,000) and the Colchester Land Trust ($42,000). No new funds are necessary for this purchase. The Towns share would be paid out of the Land Fee in Lieu account which has a balance of $40,000 and the Land Acquisition Account which has a balance of $100,000.
Open Space Committee and Conservation Commission Action
The proposed purchase of the 31 acre parcel was presented to the Open Space Committee on June 9, 2009. The purchase was recommended for purchase by a vote of 6-0. The proposed purchase was presented to the Conservation Commission on June 10, 2009. The Commission also unanimously recommended that the Town purchase the property.