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Milford Investigates Conservation Protection for 200 Acres

The land is on eight parcels, extending from Louisa Lake to near the I-495 exit ramp.

Louisa Lake. Credit: Mary MacDonald
Louisa Lake. Credit: Mary MacDonald
Milford Selectmen are investigating how to provide permanent protection from development for 200 town-owned acres near Louisa Lake, including the option of assigning land to the Trustees of Reservations.

The concern is that the land, including the town forest, the former "Consigli property" and six other parcels, could over time face development pressure.
As recently as last summer, the Woodland School Building Committee looked at some of the land for a site for the replacement school, said Selectman Dino DeBartolomeis.

The site ultimately had too many traffic problems and was not suitable for the school project, he said, "But they did look at it."

Conservation protection would permanently hold the land as undeveloped, except for passive recreation such as biking and walking, according to town officials. One option is to put the lands under the jurisdiction of the town's Conservation Commission, a panel that is appointed by selectmen.

Another is to assign some or all of the land to the Trustees of Reservations. The non-profit holds 25,000 acres in Massachusetts for preservation, public use and enjoyment.

Milford Selectmen last week asked Town Planner Larry Dunkin to investigate the pros and cons of the options for conserving the 200 town acres, including any fees that would associated with conservation protection from the Trustees, or the limits of protection under the town's Conservation Commission.

According to a letter from Town Counsel Gerry Moody, any option to attach a conservation restriction on the lands will require two-thirds approval from Milford Town Meeting.

Selectman Brian Murray said he favored the Trustees option. "Boards of Selectmen can change. And Boards of Selectmen can change conservation commission appointments. The bottom line is once land is developed, it's rarely if ever 'undeveloped'."

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