The Board of Selectmen (BOS) has accepted a donated parcel of land, 500b Federal Road, a 3.42-acre wooded lot situated between town-owned preserved properties west of Greenknoll Drive.
The property, formerly owned by Kathleen Fennell, of San Diego, CA, according to town records, is “virtually unbuildable,” First Selectman Bill Davidson said. “The owner realizes she’s paying taxes on something she can’t use.”
According to records, the land has an assessed value of $21,550, a $429.71 tax bill in 2011 (19.94 mill rate).
Because the land was donated to the town and there is no monetary transaction, there is no need for a town vote, just the consent of the BOS, which voted unanimously to accept the property at their monthly meeting on March 5.
The acquisition fills a large central piece of what is called the Greenknoll Open Space, preserved property sometimes used for hunting in season but little else, according to Conservation Commission Chairman (and Zoning Enforcement Officer) Alice Dew.
There is an easement that leads to the property at 36b Greenknoll Drive, though most of the trails are deer paths and there is little maintenance done on the property.
A greenway trail is proposed in the 2002 Open Space Plan [see photos above] that includes the 500b Federal property and surrounding area. The trail would lead north to and and south to Huckleberry Hill Road, however there are a few connecting pieces still needed before it could become a reality.
For now, the property requires no maintenance, Dew said, and the acquisition will not add to the town’s conservation costs.