The Cape Elizabeth Conservation Commission will likely recommend this week that the town purchase a nearly 1-acre plot of land on Rock Wall Lane for $75,000.
The commission was scheduled to meet on Wednesday, after the Current’s deadline, but prior to the meeting, Town Planner Maureen O’Meara said buying the land would serve “a high priority (interest in) creating a northerly access point to Loveitt woods.”
And in a memo sent to the Town Council last week, Town Manager Mike McGovern said, Cape has “been exploring for some time improving access from the Oakhurst Road neighborhoods to over 250 acres of open space, including town-owned land behind Stonegate and extending to the Cape Elizabeth Land Trust’s Robinson Woods.”
“This has been an area where we have worked cooperatively with the (land trust) and other parties in seeking improved access,” he said. “We now have an opportunity to acquire a wooded parcel where there is an existing trail used by the public.”
The property owner, Karen Willens, is willing to sell the parcel to the town, McGovern said, and the money would come from Cape’s Land Acquisition Fund, which has a current balance of $144,384.
The public has used an existing trail across Willens’ property for many years, but the trail actually is on private property and Willins has the right to block its usage.
That’s why the town is so interested in acquiring the small parcel, according to O’Meara, who said the informal trail “was closed for a time and the neighborhood missed this point of access.”
In addition, O’Meara said, “We are always working on implementing our Greenbelt Plan and preserving town open space. There is a ton of information about how important (open space) is to community health (and) to providing safe pedestrian facilities.”
She also said, “This is an existing neighborhood recreation area that links to 250 acres of permanently protected open space and miles of trails. This neighborhood is also (currently) under-served with existing public trails.”
The Town Council is set to vote on buying the land at its meeting at 7 p.m. on Monday, May 9. The lot Willins is offering is an L-shaped parcel that sits behind her single-family home at 8 Rock Wall Lane.
Willins was not available for comment this week.
The town of Cape Elizabeth is considering purchasing this nearly 1-acre of property off Rock Wall Lane.