The town is seeking feedback on what recreational uses should be allowed in the Bove Property, the 135-acre plot adjacent to the Town Forest.
On Thursday, Sept. 16, consultant Lamoureux & Dickinson will present its findings from the inventory, assessments and recommendations study that shows the area’s forest cover, habitat types and other data and will solicit public commentary on desired uses.
From this and a second meeting on October 21, the consultant will submit a final report to the Selectboard on November 15.
This is the first step in determining what activities will be allowed on the property, said planning director Regina Mahony. The Conservation Commission will then use the report to draft a management plan to submit to the Selectboard for approval.
Mahony has not seen the consultant’s data but assumed it will mention all-terrain vehicles, a topic of contention. The Town Forest does not permit them.
Like the forest, the Bove Property has sensitive wetlands, Mahony said.
“I imagine the consultants will recommend staying away from that stuff with intense uses like [ATVs],” Mahony said, “but they may find that there’s areas within there that we can accommodate those kinds of uses.”
Though state-protected wetlands may impose certain restrictions, Mahony said some situations can be ameliorated. For example, state-approved bridges can be built to allow trails through wetland areas.
All of this coincides with the anticipated construction of an eight-space parking lot at the site. If approved by the Development Review Board at its Sept. 23 meeting, the project can apply for a zoning permit.
If all goes well, the lot will be built next spring or summer, about the same time that Mahony expects the management plan to be complete, she said.
Mahony encouraged people to attend the Sept. 16 meeting at the municipal building community room, from 7 to 9 p.m.
“It’s a pretty big piece of property, and it’s a really impressive piece of property,” she said, so it would be great for us to hear what residents want to see there.”