I took a walk Saturday morning with a few members of the Community Preservation Committee through some of the 150 acres of land that now make up the Pell Tree Farm on George Hill Road. The Pell family has been working with the Trust for Public Land to put together a plan for the town to purchase the property; the family had been approached by a local developer interested in acquiring it.
It’s really an interesting property. It abuts the Warren Brook Conservation Area in Upton, which makes it especially appealing for conservation. It’s comprised of woods, fields and pieces that are in the in-between stage.
And, by the way, this overcast morning after a night of rainfall as the remnants of a tropical storm was moving in? Wicked buggy.
According to Chris LaPointe, project manager for the TPL and a Grafton resident, the property would cost the town roughly $2.1 million. The town, working with the TPL, has applied for $500,000 in grants and would be eligible for additional funds if it had a land management plan in place.
The family hopes to retain the right to use the land as a Christmas tree farm over the next 10 years.
The Community Preservation Committee will be holding a public hearing on the matter Tuesday night at 7 p.m. The Planning Board, which meets tonight at 7 p.m., also has the issue on the table as a discussion item, according to the agenda posted online.
The general consensus was that this was possibly a well pump-house.
Possibly some of the purchase price could be defrayed by selling off some of the land as buildable lots.
The question of whether to buy the land will likely land on the Oct. 20 Town Meeting warrant. I’m hoping to post an aerial shot of the property — I handed over my email on a somewhat-smeared piece of notebook paper (do I need to make up business cards for my blog? It might make life easier) — so if I do get some jpegs, I’ll update.
Thanks for the invite, Keith!