Letter: Land purchase is a big win-win for Westport

Posted 9/26/22

Your article in the September 22 Shorelines suggested that the Westport Select Board’s action of assigning the right to purchase the Pettey Farm at 559 Main Road to the Buzzards Bay Coalition …

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Letter: Land purchase is a big win-win for Westport

Posted

Your article in the September 22 Shorelines suggested that the Westport Select Board’s action of assigning the right to purchase the Petty Farm at 559 Main Road to the Buzzards Bay Coalition had ended a “would-be buyer’s dream of owning her own farm.”

The ultimate outcome of this action by the Select Board will, in all likelihood, be just the opposite - a "win-win" situation - rather than the personal disappointment that you described. To preserve this property from future development in perpetuity, it is necessary to have a conservation restriction on it. This the Coalition is committed to do once it has acquired ownership of the property.

The main interest of the Coalition and of the various boards in Town is to protect the two highly prized cold-water streams on or new this property. That can be accomplished by retaining ownership and control of the back half or two-thirds of the property and selling the remaining portion near Main Road to the prospective buyer to establish a horse farm. Such an arrangement would lower the cost for both the Coalition and the future owner of the farm. It would also accomplish the objective of protecting and preserving the cold-water streams. If the Coalition is to receive financial support from the Town for this initiative, it would appear, from the comments of several Select Board members, that such a “win-win” arrangement would be a necessary condition.

Many years ago, the late Jack Reynolds and I wrote an article entitled “Westport Streams Are Special” that provides useful background for understanding the action taken by the Select Board. It may be helpful to reproduce that article now so that the public can have a better understanding of this situation. A copy of the article, originally published in the Westport Fishermens Association Newsletter, is attached.

David C. Cole

Westport

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