“Discussion and possible action on the South Park Avenue property” is on the agenda for the Easton Board of Selectmen meeting tonight, 4/16. It is within the Selectmen’s powers to vote to sell the South Park Avenue property, and they are considering four development proposals. Citizens for Easton supports the Town retaining ownership of this valuable asset for current and future generations and urges you to attend tonight’s meeting, Easton Town Hall Conference Room, 7:30 (public comment at beginning of meeting) or email the Selectmen: First Selectman Adam Dunsby, firstname.lastname@example.org; Selectman Scott Centrella, email@example.com; and Selectman Robert Lessler, firstname.lastname@example.org.
• Before being acquired by the town of Easton, the South Park Avenue property was the object of numerous and contentious development proposals over the years including assisted living and other high density uses. Now that the property is town owned, it would be unwise to lose control of it to a private entity. • No matter what promises a developer makes, there will be risk of pollution and damage to Mill River, which encircles the property. Out of over 300 streams in Connecticut, the Mill River is one of only nine Class A Wild Trout Streams left in the state. • Light pollution would increase with development of the property as well as traffic, including possible road alterations. • The existing house on the property can be leased out at a fair market value and some of the land leased for organic farming. Fair market value for the main house would probably be approximately $3,000 per month, or $36,000 a year, or 12% of what it would cost the Town to keep the property. There is also another house on the property that could provide additional income. • The cost to Easton taxpayers is already being absorbed and amounts to approximately $120 a year per household on average. • Even if the sale to a private developer is deed restricted in some fashion, the restriction could be challenged in the future. • The property creates a scenic gateway to Easton, exemplifying our town’s rural character. • The high pressure gas line on the property becomes more of a potential danger with intensified development. • Development will add to town involvement with hearings and oversight. The town is already burdened by private land development and lawsuits.