Plans pg 1 5-3-18


The Valleyside Farm in Woodstock. Photo courtesy of Cabot Cheese.

WOODSTOCK —  The Woodstock Board of Selectmen and the Open Space Land Acquisition and Farmland Preservation Committee announced plans to protect an additional 129 acres of active farmland.
The State and town will partner to purchase the development rights of Valleyside Farm on Child Hill Road.  The land will remain private property, continuing to contribute to the town’s tax base, but it will not be able to be developed.   
The land has been farmed since the early 1700s, and is an active dairy farm owned and operated by the Young family.   
Currently Woodstock has 15 protected farms in town.  Valleyside Farm will be the 16th.  
“Woodstock farmland with prime soils is some of the best in the country” said Dawn C. Adiletta, chair of the Woodstock Open-Space Land Acquisition and Farmland Preservation Committee. “Protecting it contributes not only to the town’s agricultural viability, but has long been a priority for the state of Connecticut.”   “Protecting this farm conforms to Woodstock’s Plan of Conservation and Development” said Woodstock First Selectman Michael Alberts, “and contributes to the town’s ongoing commitment to protecting and supporting our agricultural traditions. “Protecting farmland also helps stabilize local expenses.  Land in the Purchased Development Rights, or PDR program remains a source of tax revenue without increasing demands on town resources.  “Farmland, especially PDR farmland, subsidizes the rest of us,” explained Chandler Paquette, Woodstock Selectman.  
“In Woodstock, a special Agricultural Preservation Fund is used to provide the town’s share of such purchases, and the money may only be used for projects like this.”
“It’s a process that begins with the landowner,” said Adiletta.  “Our committee has been working quietly with the Youngs for a while now. As part of their application the land is reviewed by us, by the town’s Conservation Committee, and the State Department of Agriculture.”  Once the Youngs accepted the Department of Agriculture’s proposal, we made our recommendation to the Board of Selectmen, and upon their approval, we sought and received approval from the Board of Finance, the Planning and Zoning Commission, and the Woodstock’s Agriculture Committee.”  “Lucas Young,” continued Adiletta, “one of the Valleyside owners, was recently named a Soil Health Champion by the National Association of Conservation Districts for his ‘extraordinary work to promote soil health management practices.”
A Town meeting has been scheduled for 7 p.m. May 8 so voters can learn more about  the purchase.  The town meeting will be adjourned to referendum from noon to 8 p.m. May 15.   “This is a beautiful piece of farm land which adds to a corridor of protected agricultural resources” added Adiletta, “I’m hoping for a good turnout for the town meeting.”  
Both meetings are at the Woodstock Town Hall.
For more information about this project, or protecting your own land, please contact Town Clerk Judy Walberg  at 860-928-0208 or Dawn C. Adiletta, chair of Open-Space and Farmland  Preservation Committee at 860-928-4369.

RocketTheme Joomla Templates