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PHOTOS: A Look at the 87-acres in Higganum

Detailed photos and updated presentation of the 87-acres in Higganum involved in the proposed Haddam land swap.

These 87 acres of forest land in Higganum have been central to the debate of the land conveyance bill that includes, as one item on the bill, the swap of this property with that of 17.4 acres in the Tylerville section of Haddam along the Connecticut River.

According to the proponents of the swap, the 87 acres could be used to connect Cockaponset State Forest to Route 81 in the Higganum section of Haddam and allow the DEP and residents of the local community better access to this area of forest in Connecticut's River Valley.

The swap, currently awaiting a vote in the legislature, has generated controversy, with opponents saying it would ruin one of the most scenic areas of the Connecticut River by developing the 17.4 acres in Tylerville and could dampen future land sales or donations to the state. 

The proponents for the swap invite the public to "walk the property and view the forest and tree canopy up close." For a detailed map of the property or additional information on the 87 acres involved in the swap, visit Haddam Land Swap

Details of the proposed swap are included in the most recent proposal presentation (see attached).

jane June 07, 2011 at 12:27 PM
Mr. S., how could you still be unaware that this land was NOT donated. The state paid $6 million to the owner for the whole piece, and $1.3 million of it was for this parcel. He had bought it 6 or 7 years earlier for about $200,000, so he made over A MILLION DOLLARS off us, the taxpayers, on this sale. Some kind of "donation"!!!
Jeanne Corvan June 07, 2011 at 12:31 PM
My understanding from the article on this in the Wall St Journal is that an earlier official in the DEP told the developers they would entertain a "swap" if the developers came up with comparable land. So they came up with a "failed sub-division", the 87 acres which at the time was assessed at around $430,000. The state had bought the 17 acres for $1.3 million but since then the assessement of that land (with some of the most beautiful views of the lower Ct. River ) has been down graded to, you guesed it, around $430,000. This looks like a dirty deal to rob the public. It's a little like the eminent domain debacle in New London except here it is the the people of the state of Ct. that owns the land and the state is going to give it to the private developers. Didn't we learn that this is a very bad idea?
Curious June 07, 2011 at 12:35 PM
And the developers - (Rocco and his partners who bought the land they are trading for $428,000) stand to make even MORE MILLIONS OF DOLLARS from us taxpayers if we allow this swap to happen. Taxpayers lose lose again!!!!
Liz Bazazi June 07, 2011 at 03:02 PM
Please note in the pictures pictures that there is an unusually large amount of ledge (both visible and indicated by the presence of Mt Laurel) and wetlands on the 87 acres. These would prevent a great portion of the land from being developed and may be why the planned development failed. Regardless, the fact remains that, after rigourous investigation, our State purchased the 17 acres for preservatrion in accordance with the CT Conservation and Development Policies Plan which advise us to:  Continue to protect Existing Preserved Open Space areas and to limit improvements to those consistent with long-term preservation and appropriate public enjoyment of the natural resource and open space values of the site…  Foster the identification of significant resource, heritage, recreation, and hazardous areas of statewide significance and advocate their protection by public and quasi-public organizations in their planning and investment decisions.  Protect the ecological, scenic and recreational aspects of river corridors… comprehensively assess and balance competing land uses within such corridors;  Restrict structural development to the least scenic areas or to areas already significantly altered; Accordingly, this valuable 17-acre parcel was purchased expressly for preservation and passive recreation. Never before has such land be conveyed to a private entity. Doing so would be stepping onto a slippery slope.
Robert Waz June 08, 2011 at 01:44 PM
To anonymous Jane - you are a better spinmaster that O'Reilly. If you think Haddam is ugly as is perhaps another more developed local town such as Cromwell would better suite your tastes. And please child, no more eggs on my house.

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