Update on Article 21 at Annual Town Meeting

Thank you to those that came to town meeting and voted yes on Article 21! Littleton will soon have 35.11 acres of new conservation land that expands the Newtown Hill area with additional habitat, open space, forest to clean the air and a key link in an envisioned future commuter loop trail for Littleton.

Original post from May 1st:
LCT Members and Littleton Residents,

Tonight, May 1st, please support Town Meeting (TM) Article 21 to acquire the 35.11 acre Williams Land for conservation purposes. Vote to accept the CPA Committee’s recommendations to spend existing CPA funds and borrow $300,000 against future CPS revenues, all without raising taxes. The selectmen have a strong LWCF grant application pending, with the state Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs, EEA, and the National Park Service, to provide a $300,000 reimbursement, which could immediately retire that debt.

For more details including maps and cost analysis of potential sub-division development, see this handout (PDF).

Littleton unanimously voted to acquire the Williams Land at the November Special Town Meeting. What happened? The vote was contingent upon receiving a state grant from an underfunded program, which could not cover all good proposals. As a result, EEA directed Littleton to apply for the LWCF grant based upon proposal strength, high conservation land values, and their onsite visit. What else happened since last November STM? Littleton’s blended CPC funds grew by an additional $923,515 including a state match!

Why should we acquire the Williams Land for conservation purposes?

(1) The Williams Land is the top priority open space parcel due to high conservation values, advancement of Littleton’s Open Space Plan Goals, and its location next to Newtown Hill Conservation Land and close proximity to other major conservation lands, thereby preserving wildlife corridors and creating passive recreation path networks, including a proposed cross town trail to the commuter rail station;

(2) The willing landowner is working closely with the town and there is strong community support; and (3) Finally, a solid financial plan where the CPC math works, and the town avoids providing expensive community services to a potential 36 single family residential subdivision.

Acquiring conservation land saves the town on taxes. The cost for providing community services for a massive residential subdivision over 10-15 years approximates the one time land purchase price if it were saved as conservation land. Whereas there is almost no cost for sustaining conservation land, residential public service costs are ongoing. The conservation land doesn’t require schooling, building new municipal buildings and maintaining current buildings, snowplowing, road maintenance, police and fire services, general administrative overhead and personnel, and infrastructure costs for sewers, water, and outdoor recreation facilities.

Please join the Selectmen, LCT, and the Commissions for Conservation, Community Preservation, Sustainability, Open Space and Recreation Plan Implementation, and Bicycles and Pedestrians in voting to acquire the Williams Land, Article 21.

Littleton Conservation Trust