A prime riverfront land site fronting the Shepaug River in Washington and Litchfield was in the spotlight Aug. 9 as a local developer, in conjunction with the Litchfield Land Trust, hosted a land dedication event that recognized the site's newly protected status.
The event drew local land-use officials, representatives of the Litchfield Land Trust and other interested parties, as well as members of the public.
C.A. Litchfield LLC is poised to break ground on construction of a 20-home subdivision off Old Mount Tom Road. More than 80 acres of the 283-acre parcel, including more than 3,000 feet of direct riverfront access, was transferred to the Litchfield Land Trust to protect the land in perpetuity.
The acquisition adds to the LLT's holdings of approximately 900 acres in Litchfield, with another 1,200 acres held in conservation easements.
Members of the town's Planning and Zoning and Inland Wetlands commissions were pleased to ensure the preservation of the land and worked with the developer during the approval process.
The Land Trust has plans to establish hiking trails through the wooded tract. The property is adjacent to approximately 1,000 acres of protected watershed property owned by the city of Waterbury.
The Steep Rock Association was named as back-up steward of the property should the LLT require assistance.
"It's a win for the town, a win for the developer and a win for the people of the state of Connecticut," said Jim Hiltz, who is also working with the developer and the New Homes Division of William Raveis Real Estate, Mortgage and Insurance to market the property.
Mr. Hiltz estimated the value of the donated land at between $750,000 and $850,000.
Alan Temkin of the Alan Temkin Group, a partner in the development, expressed a strong personal interest in open space preservation, along with his partner, Chris Wilson, a philanthropist who has a love of the Shepaug.
It had been Mr. Wilson's vision for several years, he said, to create a beautiful New England community and, at the same time, preserve some of the land along the Shepaug shoreline as a wildlife corridor. While an initial effort to acquire the land fell through about four or five years earlier, an opportunity to purchase the property resurfaced, allowing him this time to consummate the purchase.
"We could have created about 32 lots at Shepaug Crossing, but we chose to create 20 magnificent home sites instead, opting to protect the land that directly fronts the Shepaug," Mr. Temkin said.
According to John Tarducci, senior vice president of the Raveis new homes division, the homes at Shepaug Crossing will be custom-built in a classic New England style, with predominantly stone and wood-shingle exteriors.
The luxury homes will range in size from 2,600 square feet and up, with an estimated price range between $750,000 and $2,500,000. Lot sizes will range from 3.5 to more than 20 acres.
Shepaug Crossing will share a close proximity to cultural and dining venues in Kent, New Preston and Litchfield and Washington village centers, as well as several private schools.
For more information, call 860-248-2187 or visit www.shepaugcrossing.com.