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Weston Finds Compromise for Lachat Property

WESTON, Conn. – Leon Lachat may now rest in peace knowing his property and the agreements will be upheld, Mark Harper said at a Board of Selectmen meeting Thursday.

A proposal to allow the Nature Conservancy and the town of Weston to lease portions of the Lachat property to each other will go to a town meeting in October.

The two have “different missions and views” for the property, said Dennis Tracey, chairman of the Nature Center Building Committee. The 10-year leases will allow different uses by the town and Nature Conservancy without separating the property or the title.

“It allows us to utilize the property without impacting the agreements made with Leon Lachat,” said Gayle Weinstein, first selectman. The public applauded the selectmen’s efforts and final decision at the meeting.

The Nature Conservancy will lease the meadow areas along Godfrey Road to the town. The town will lease forested lands to the Nature Conservancy, which will be used in conjunction with the Devil’s Den Preserve, said Tracey.

The conservation easements on the town’s leased portion will be modified to make clear that a town farm would be an acceptable use, said Tracey. The endowment fund – which consists of $250,000 from the Nature Conservancy and $250,000 from the town – will continue to be managed by the Nature Conservancy. The money can be used solely to maintain the property and buildings, said Tracey.

A vote must be held on the agreement because it involves leasing town property. A public information session will be at 7 p.m. Oct. 20 at the Town Hall Meeting Room, followed by a town meeting to vote on the agreement between the town and the Nature Conservancy. The attorney general also must approve the agreement before it is finalized.

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