Warren passes on $400,000 open space purchase

Council votes to walk away from plan for 14 acres along Touisset shoreline

By Ted Hayes
Posted 9/21/18

Town officials have been making a push to preserve open space across town for several years, but members of the Warren Town Council voted last week to walk away from a plan to purchase 14.3 acres of …

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Warren passes on $400,000 open space purchase

Council votes to walk away from plan for 14 acres along Touisset shoreline

Posted

Town officials have been making a push to preserve open space across town for several years, but members of the Warren Town Council voted last week to walk away from a plan to purchase 14.3 acres of open land along the Touisset shoreline for $400,000.

Warren Town Council members voted in closed session last Tuesday to reject a sale offer from Touisset resident John Barker, who months ago approached officials with a plan to sell the town the land, which runs from Maple Road south to the Touisset shore, bounded on the west by Blackthorne Lane. Negotiations with Mr. Barker moved along steadily over the spring and summer, and town officials were able to secure a $200,000 open space matching grant from the state DEM, which would have paid for half of the acquisition. But Bob Rulli in the town’s planning department said that after having an appraisal done, town officials decided to pass after looking at its development potential.

“It wasn’t high,” he said of that potential.

As the property has wetlands, he said the likelihood is low that a future developer will be able to turn a substantial portion of it into house lots. Given that, the urgency to buy it and thus protect it from development is not there.

On Friday, Mr. Barker said he was surprised to hear of the town’s decision to pass on his property.

“They’re giving back $200,000 to the state by doing that,” he said.

Warren Town Council president Joseph DePasquale said Friday that he couldn’t comment on the town’s decision to walk away, as it was made in closed (executive) session. However, he said, “We are always looking at what’s in the best interest of the entire town.”

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