Inland Wetland Agency Says Sheep Farm Wetlands “Worthy of Protection”

GROTON — The Inland Wetland Agency on April 14, 2010 unanimously approved a letter to GOSA that calls the wetlands of the Sheep Farm on Hazelnut Hill Road “worthy of protection.”

GOSA plans to apply by May 3 for a state open space grant to help cover its planned purchase of the land from Groton Lenders LLC, which has given GOSA an option to buy for $878,500. GOSA had requested endorsement of its application from various bodies, including the IWA, Town Council, and Planning and Conservation Commissions.

The Town Council and Planning Commission are considering the request.

The IWA approved the text of a letter addressed to Joan Smith, GOSA president, saying, “The Groton Inland Wetland Agency has reviewed the material submitted to them at their March 24, 2010 meeting regarding your pending application to the State Department of Environmental Protection for funds to purchase the above-referenced properties [245-255 Hazelnut Hill Road]. The Agency is familiar with this property through its review of the Wetland application for the Groton Highpoint Subdivision [once proposed for the tract]. The wetland resources on the site include Fort Hill Brook, inland wetlands and vernal pools. These resources are worthy of protection.” The letter was signed by David Scott, IWA chairman.

The Conservation Commission said in a June 2, 2009 letter to GOSA that it “does not oppose the purchase of the property as open space, but cannot unconditionally endorse an application for funds to purchase this land given that it is not entirely consistent with the state, regional and local Plans of Conservation and Development.” The commission had said earlier in the letter:

“The natural resources on the site include Fort Hill Brook, wetlands, vernal pools, steep slopes, a blue stem meadow as well as historic features such as old stone walls and an old grist mill.”

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