Milford will not purchase the Beaverbrook property, a tract of land along I-95, although it will retain a recreation easement for most of the property.
The Board of Aldermen voted unanimously Monday to follow Mayor Ben Blake’s recommendation and pass on the purchase. The city had the right of first refusal before the completes a sale of the property to a developer.
Although the property has 57 acres, only 15 acres are usable for development. The rest are undevelopable marshes, Blake said. The Iroquois natural gas transmission pipeline crosses the property, which also reduces its development potential.
The property is located along the south side of I-95 east of the Schoolhouse Road exit.
Blake said in 2001 before selling it to the church, the water company granted a passive recreation easement for a large portion of the property to the city for one dollar. Since then, the city has spent about $10,000 a year maintaining hiking trails there.
The easement specifies that the city has a 45-day right of first refusal, which was why it came before the aldermen.
Blake said there was no reason for the city to buy the land, since the easement allows it to use it for recreation in perpetuity.
"Why buy the cow when you get the milk for free?" Blake said.
In January, the Kingdom Life Church notified the city it had reached an agreement to sell the property to Grillo Organic, a Milford-based mulching operation, for $3.7 million.
Blake said the sale is contingent on Grillo receiving a special exception permit from the zoning commission for its yard waste recycling operation.
Milford Patch was contacted by at least one resident who expressed concern about what that potential use could mean for area residents in the way of increased traffic and noise, among other quality of life and safety issues.