NORWALK, Conn. – State Senate Majority Leader Bob Duff (D-Norwalk) scored a major victory for open-space preservation with the passage of the Budget Implementer Bill (Senate Bill 1502).
The bill prevents taxpayer-purchased open space from being used to fulfill the open space percentage allocation required for cluster developments, according to a press release.
“The White Barn Property is a community treasure and is one of Norwalk's few remaining expanses of undisturbed open space,” Duff said in a press release. “Now, a developer is attempting to use this public land to his own benefit, in an attempt to fit more housing units on a piece of land. That’s why we took action today to protect the character of our community and something that truly makes Norwalk special.”
“We have a fiduciary responsibility to protect this civic asset,” said Save Cranbury founder JoAnne Jackson in a press release. “Today’s vote will ensure that the community can be confident that our tax dollars and grant dollars will not be compromised.”
In 2003, the city and the state made a decision to partner with land preservation groups to purchase the 5.5 acres of the White Barn Property to ensure the land remains open space and preserved as a natural habitat to the wildlife that resides there, according to a press release.
Special Properties II has proposed a 15-unit conservation development adjacent to wetlands and watercourses on the 15-plus acre White Barn property.
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