Small Cape Elizabeth purchase adds 'major' greenbelt access

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CAPE ELIZABETH — The town has purchased a piece of land to add to the greenbelt trail system.

The Town Council on May 9 approved purchasing the parcel of just less than an acre near Loveitt Woods for $75,000. The land provides a new access point to the woods and surrounding open space.

The land, behind 8 Rock Wall Lane off Oakhurst Road, was owned by Karen Willens. According to a letter from the Conservation Commission to the Town Council, the town has been trying to purchase the property since 2012.

The $75,000 used to buy the parcel came out of the town’s land acquisition fund, which had a balance of more than $144,000 before the purchase. According to the town website, the land is accessed at $24,900.

Councilor Jamie Garvin on May 9 said he wasn’t “wild” about the price the council agreed to pay. The recommendation to buy at that price came from the Conservation Commission.

“We have worked with the Cape Elizabeth Land Trust, and have evaluated the desirability and cost of other alternatives,” the commission’s May 6 letter to the council said.

Neighbors have been accessing Loveitt Woods through Willens’ property, and the Conservation Commission said it wanted the connector to be available to everyone.

“The existing access off Glenden Road has remained a desirable location both because of its history of access for the neighborhood and its physical characteristics as a dry, wooded trail connector,” the commission said in the letter.

Town Manager Mike McGovern agreed May 9, noting the parcel of land is small, but significant. He said it’s a “major, major piece” for the greenbelt system. 

Loveitt Woods is an 18-acre parcel that connects with Robinson Woods. According to the town website, the recently purchased connector parcel gives official access to 200 households near Oakhurst Road.

“That is astounding to me,” Council Chairwoman Molly MacAuslan said. “I think that is tremendous to give people access.”

Kate Gardner can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 125 or kgardner@theforecaster.net. Follow her on Twitter: @katevgardner.

The Town Council on May 9 approved purchasing almost an acre of land near Oakhurst Road to create a new access point to the greenbelt trail system.

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I'm a reporter for The Forecaster covering Freeport, Yarmouth, Chebeague Island, and Cape Elizabeth. I'm from a small town in NH no one's ever heard of. When not reporting, I can be found eating pasta and reading books, often at the same time.