A Better Plan for the Moore Property

 

A better plan for the Moore property translates to a better outcome for Weston.  

Overview & Process

A not-for-profit makes an application to either buy the property from the Town or to purchase a conservation easement and convert the Moore property to permanently designated Open Space.

The not-for-profit partners with environmental advocates that currently are stakeholders in other projects in the town, state and across the country. It would apply for various grants that are designated for the specific purpose of converting public and private owned properties and forever designate their future use for Open Space land.

The not-for profit would also work on a bi-partisan basis to relocate the proposed dog park to a more central town location that would cost less to build and maintain as well be environmentally sound.  

Our plan underscores the concerns highlighted in the TOWN PLAN OF CONSERVATION AND DEVELOPMENT, July 2010:

“All of this was done with an eye towards addressing three questions raised time and again by Weston homeowners:

∙ How can Weston better protect its water supply, natural resources and rural character?

∙ How can economic development help Weston control property taxes?

∙ How can Weston better utilize its facilities to the benefit of all Weston residents?”

Historical Evidence & Funding Potential

This project and approach would mirror the successful effort of purchasing the Trout Brook Valley property that was originally designated for development and has now been permanently designated as Open Space.  The stakeholders and entities that participated in that process, would be asked to participate in this process.  That money was raised through the following means:

Connecticut DEEP Open Space and Watershed Land Acquisition Grant Program, this program awarded 65% of the purchase price.

Private Fund Raising through Organizations such as The Aspetuck Land Trust and Newman’s Own, raised 35% of the remaining money necessary to complete the fundraising.

DEEP is currently considering 25 applications for over $7 million in grants, last year they awarded 17 projects over $5 million, the same as the previous year.

Weston Character

As noted from the Town's Conservation Plan:

“Weston’s greatest treasure is its natural resources. Its landscape is dominated by large, mature trees and open space that is unsurpassed in Fairfield County. Our residents depend on a natural environment for their well-being. Virtually all of us draw our household water from wells that tap into natural groundwater and aquifers. All of us rely on septic systems that depend principally on natural processes to purify waste water and recharge our groundwater and aquifers. Weston’s character is defined by nature and its forests, open meadows, rivers, wetlands, ponds and pastoral side roads with leaf canopies framed by stone walls.

"Every Weston resident deserves credit for preserving Weston’s bucolic character by making responsible decisions about how to develop and use his or her property. The hallmarks of Weston’s land use are its two-acre residential zoning, based, in part, on the limited ability of natural systems to supply and filter water for each household; and restricted non-residential development, without which Weston would be a very different place.  In authoring the Plan, the Committee found its attention particularly drawn to three important factors concerning Weston’s natural resources: trees, water and open space.”

Bi-Partisan Synergistic Goals

In addition to raising the money for the completion of the Moore property, this not-for-profit would help the Weston Dog Park group raise any money necessary to re-locate this project to a central location that more residents of Weston could enjoy and would cost less.  This would also be a fantastic way of uniting neighbors in a bi-partisan effort to locate, build, and enjoy a place for dogs and humans to unite and be proud of, in addition to completing an amenity for future generations of Westonites, while protecting the environment and wildlife that currently call the Moore property home.  

Protecting the environment and Weston’s natural resources appears to be the focus of the Conservation plan noted above.  The focus of our plan is to prioritize those values alongside  - particularly the protection of natural resources that make Weston an idyllic place to call home.