Shelton seeking to further expand open space stock

The city’s greenway corridor could soon be getting another boost.

The Planning and Zoning Commission, at its meeting this past Tuesday, cast a favorable ruling on the city’s plan to acquire 1.28 acres off Mohegan Road.

This land is adjacent to 11 acres of Aquarion Water Co. property as well as nearly nine acres of land owned by Shelton Land Conservancy.

“Those are watershed lands along the Far Mill River just upstream from Isinglass Reservoir (Far Mill Reservoir), which is a drinking water reservoir,” said Teresa Gallagher, the city’s Conservation Agent. “There aren’t any formal trails or facilities at this time. The Aquarion property is probably also part of Centennial Watershed State Forest, with no public access. The Land Trust and city do allow public access.”

The proposed sale would go before the Board of Aldermen for final approval. Once acquired, the city will grant a conservation easement to the water company, which has agreed to pay half of the $179,000 purchase price.

“This request advances our goals, as well as those of Aquarion, of increasing the city’s greenways, conserving natural resources and wildlife habitations, and protecting the water source,” said Kellie Vazzano, Mayor Mark Lauretti’s administrative assistant, in a letter to the Planning and Zoning Commission dated April 5.

This proposed purchase comes only weeks after the city acquired two other pieces of property — 14 acres on Pearmain Road owned by the late Guy Beardsley for $218,000 and some 26 acres of open space on Old Mill Road bought for $1.2 million.

Overall, Lauretti has stated that the city has acquired some 2,000 acres of open space in his three decades in office.