Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Land Deal No Deal

At its regular monthly meeting (the 4th Monday of every month at 7pm in room 208 of City Hall) on Monday May 23rd, the Conservation Commission voted to oppose the transfer of 17 acres of open space in Haddam from the State Department of Environmental Protection to private commercial developers. This action by the Conservation Commission is in line with similar actions by The Jonah Center, reported in the EYE previously here. The Commission signed an online petition requesting that the Haddam Land Swap be removed from Senate Bill 1196. The petition can be read in its entirety or signed via this link.


It states in part:

Senate Bill SB1196 ... authorizes a land swap by the State of 17 acres of public land (Clark Creek Wildlife Management Area) overlooking the Connecticut River in Haddam to private developers for a boutique tourist complex, shops, and an entertainment venue. This land ... was paid for by tax dollars and deeded to be preserved as open space. This bill constitutes a violation of the public trust. 

We believe a trade of these 17 acres will set a very dangerous precedent as it is the first such divesting of conservation land in this manner in the state of Connecticut. It will make all Connecticut open space currently set aside for public use vulnerable to developers. If it happens in Haddam, it can happen anywhere in the State.

More information about the proposed land swap is available at the Connecticut River Gateway Commission, which reports that "the conveyance controversy and the rally [Stop the Swap on May 21st], which have both received substantial coverage in local newspapers including the Hartford Courant and from the online newspaper Patch.com, is now attracting national coverage through the Associated Press with an article appearing in this past weekend's Boston Globe Online."

Now is the time to get educated about the facts surrounding the proposed deal, and to take actions to reach out to your legislators and voice your opinion prior to this bill coming up for a vote.


Anonymous said...

If you are going to "sign" the petition, be forewarned you are forced to make a donation as well. It was suggested I donate $25 with no opt out option. I could choose lesser or greater amounts. I really hate it when this happens. As a result, I canceled my "signature". Too bad.

Anonymous said...

Too bad this is not good I signed it at the rally. Check their web site in a few days I don't think that they realized that this was happening and I'm sure they will change it.

Karen Swartz said...

I signed it and did not donate any money. After you click the button to sign and it puts you in the donation screen, it says at the top "Your signature has been recorded." . SO you do not need to donate you can just navigate away. If you clicked on sign you probably did sign it. You can go back and see your signature by clicking on the signature tab two tabs to the right of the SIGN tab.

Citizens for Protection of Public Land said...


You do not need to donate money to sign the petition. Once you see that screen that has the donation amounts on it, you've already signed.

If you read the paragraph above the donation amounts, it will first say, "Your signature has been recorded" and then continues to explain WHERE the money goes.

If you have any problems, contact landswap2011@hotmail.com

Thank you for your signature!


Citizens for Protection of Public Land said...

Please visit www.landswap.org for ALL the TRUTH about the land swap.

Sharon Botelle said...

You do not need to make a donation - your signature is recorded whether you make donation or not - The donation is part of the ipetition web site and has nothing to do with landswap.org nor does landswap.org receive any money from any donations -

David Bauer said...

Although the effects of the environment extend beyond the corporate boundary of Middletown, I cannot say the same for Middletown's Conservation Commission. This Commission is bound by our City Ordinance 14-27 & 14-28, which stipulate that the Commission will adhere to C.G.S. § 7-131a.

If the details matter, the vote reported here by the Conservation Commission should be ruled out of order and invalidated.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for clarifying the donation thing. I think the design of the site is misleading, intentional or not. It certainly gave me the impression that I had to donate to complete the process.

Karen Swartz said...

The statute does not preclude us from discussing and voicing an opinion on legislation that could affect us. Because the Haddam Land Swap sets a precedent concerning protected land throughout Connecticut, it's completely relevant for us to discuss and vote on it. If it passes it could affect the land conservation work we do in Middletown. -Karen Swartz, Jane Brawerman - Chair, and Sheila Stoane - Vice Chair

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