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Dear Select Board Members,
My name is Kathleen Kelly and I am the current chair for the Reading Trails Committee. On behalf of our committee, I would like to share our support for the Selects Boards ability to exercise their first right of refusal for the purchase of the 5 lots on Grove Street. We are concerned about the proposed use of the land for sale for the following reasons:
- Vernal pools flank Strout Avenue and the area is habitat for endangered Blue Spotted Salamanders. If this area is to be developed then it should be carefully managed without a negative impact on the wildlife habitat.
- Lack of parking is an access issue for our Town Forest. We need a safe place to park with dedicated handicap spaces so that our forest is accessible. Because Grove Street and Strout Avenue border wetlands and vernal pools, the crumbling shoulders of these roads should be rebuilt first to protect these areas. Especially if there is going to be further development and traffic in this area. We also recommend that a dedicated parking lot be developed using one of the 5 lots that are for sale on Grove Street (not on the existing Strout Avenue loop). The parking lot should also be built with the fragile environment in mind.
- Lastly, we recommend that if single homes are to be built on this land, then it should be developed with as minimal of an impact as possible.
Reading is fortunate to have this natural resource in our town. As a town committee responsible for creating and maintaining trails in this area, we hope that our town will make a decision to preserve our resources rather than burden them.
Reading Trails Committee