The Plympton Board of Selectmen met virtually at 1:30 pm on Monday, Oct. 3. The brief meeting was to discuss and vote on a conservation restriction. “It pertains to a portion of the property that is located off of Lake St., I believe the official address is 0 Lake St.,” Town Administrator Liz Dennehy said. “The conservation restriction itself will encompass approximately 31.07 acres… it’s owned by Harju Brothers Cranberries Inc. and what’s before you today, I would suggest that you make a motion to approve said conservation restriction for that portion of the property,” Dennehy explained to the selectmen.
A conservation restriction in the State of Massachusetts is a legal agreement that protects conservation ideals while allowing for limited land uses that align with those ideals. The Massachusetts Conservation Restriction Handbook describes them as follows, “The unique features of conservation restrictions are that they leave land on the tax rolls (though sometimes much reduced in value), preserve land without public ownership and allow, in many instances, for public access.”
Selectman John Traynor moved the motion and Selectman Christine Joy seconded. Traynor acknowledged that no one from the public attended the meeting but did open it up for discussion, nonetheless. Joy said, “It looked good to me; it looked like basically the Wildlands Trust had been involved in this and that they were happy with the conservation restriction… I wish it was a larger parcel but I’m happy with what they have come up with. It looks like it is a nice parcel of land with some potential for some passive recreation at some point.” The Wildlands Trust describes their mission as being, “committed to protecting land and providing access to nature for the people of our region, regardless of income, race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or gender identity.”
Selectman Mark Russo abstained from the vote saying, “As a member of the Board of Wildlands Trust, just to avoid any confusion whatsoever, I’ll abstain.” Howard Randall of Plympton is also a member of the Wildlands Trust Board. The motion passed 2-0 with both Joy and Traynor voting in favor of the conservation restriction.