EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

New Hampshire

March 26, 2014

Windham pursues conservation deal

30-acre conservation parcel would cost $430K

WINDHAM — The town is close to lining up its second major conservation acquisition this year.

Just weeks after voters approved an $860,000 deal to preserve about 60 acres at the Campbell Farm property, conservation commissioners are planning to buy another 30 acres off Rockingham Road.

The Planning Board last week unanimously approved a subdivision of the Cyr family property a couple of miles north of Route 111.

Engineering consultant Peter Zohdi, representing the property owners, told the Planning Board the subdivision would split a 43-acre parcel in two, leaving 13 acres for commercial development along Route 28.

“We don’t know what that will be in the future,” Zohdi said.

The remaining 30 acres would go to the town for conservation.

Conservation Commission vice chairman Jim Finn said the 30 acres, combined with existing town land, would mean about 400 acres in that area set aside for conservation.

He said the purchase price is about $430,000. The town would use a $120,000 state grant and town conservation funds to buy the property.

“The beauty of it is the land is contiguous to the conservation land we have, so we can expand,” Finn said.

The property has natural beauty, including wetlands, he said. It’s east of Route 28.

“It’s really quite pretty,” Finn said. “It’s almost like a miniature Grand Canyon.”

The town has a trail through the conservation area, but wildlife also will benefit.

“This gives wildlife a great corridor to go back and forth,” Finn said.

Meanwhile, he said he was ecstatic over voter approval of the Campbell Farm purchase.

“That was a close margin,” he said. “We needed 60 percent and it passed by an eight-vote margin.”

The Campbell Farm property, on Kendall Pond Road, includes about 5,000 feet of frontage on Beaver Brook.

Voter approval isn’t necessary for the Cyr property purchase because the commission already has funds available for it.

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