Hampstead Conservation Land Purchase Will be Smaller

HAMPSTEAD – The Conservation Commission members learned that the land the commission has been trying to purchase for most of the year will result in a 17.27-acre parcel, not the 22 acres expected. The purchase is just steps away from completion.

Chairman Tim Lovell said at the Wednesday, Aug. 21 meeting that registry data entry mistakes accounted for the difference in the acreage. Property owner Joan Emmert will still retain a 10-acre parcel that would be buildable, while Conservation will get the 17.27-acre remaining, restricted for conservation use only.

Lovell said he hadn’t made any attempt to change the agreed upon price because the few acres lost weren’t worth much. The site plan for the parcel was presented to the Planning Board on Aug. 5, and that board gave conditional approval subject to a couple of things Lovell needed to do. He had to answer the question raised by the Town Engineer about whether there is sufficient type-3 or better soils on the 10-acre lot to ensure it is a buildable lot. The data corroborating this was provided at the Planning Board for Town Engineer Nick Cricenti to review.

The second question was raised by Planning Board Chairman Randy Clark, concerning whether the Town of Hampstead owns the land abutting the proposed Conservation acquisition to the south. It is listed as being owned by the Town, but Lovell said it is managed by the Society for the Preservation of New Hampshire Forests. Lovell said that after talking with the Society, he confirmed the Town owns the parcel while the Society manages it.

As both questions have been addressed, the paperwork is in Cricenti’s hands, and once he signs off on the site plan and the documents, it will go to the Town Attorney to prepare the deed. A closing date will then be set. “We seem all set now, and the cost of the survey ended up only being $3,500, much less than we feared,” Lovell said.

Lovell said the Williams Family own two parcels adjacent to the recent Conservation purchases. He is planning to contact the family to see if there is an interest in selling and if not, to confirm the future plans for the land.

“I presume they are being managed by the Society and aren’t for sale, but I want to make sure of that,” he said. “I would like to get a Conservation easement from them for the Town if that is a possibility.”

In other business:
• A resident contacted the commission to find out if anything was being done about the purple loosestrife growing at Woodland Pond. Loosestrife would have to be torn out by the roots, making sure no seeds escape, and the roots would have to be buried beneath 8 feet of dirt.
• Lovell and member Paul Carideo have both checked Shop Pond for new invasive weed growth since the chemical treatment and found none present. The chemical company suggests that after three years, a second treatment may be needed.

• Carideo said he is getting mixed messages about the proposed Hampstead Middle School second access road. He said one source said the road proposal had been withdrawn, while another said the permit with the state is still active. The Fire Department is not seeking a two-lane paved access and is fine with a single-lane gravel road. The School District Facilities Committee changed the plan to the two-lane, paved proposal.

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