A 25-acre tract of land in the Buckskill area of East Hampton will be purchased and preserved by East Hampton Town, and could become a recreation destination, according to a vote of the town board last Thursday. The $8.6 million purchase of land fronting on Buckskill Road and Towhee Trail was approved after a hearing.
The money will come from both the community preservation fund and from a capital project budget. The property, owned by the Pasquale J. Trunzo Qualified Personal Residence Trust, the Nancy T. Trunzo Qualified Personal Residence Trust, and Buckskill Realty, a limited liability corporation, contains a house, two barns, a pool, and other structures. All but one barn will be removed at the owners’ expense before money changes hands. The barn will be used for “recreational opportunities” and for equipment storage.
Because use of the preservation fund is restricted to open land, the town will use capital funds to pay $131,000 toward the purchase — the appraised value of the barn. The remainder of the cost will be covered by the C.P.F.
The 25-acre site is in a water-recharge area, and its preservation will not only provide opportunities for recreation, Supervisor Larry Cantwell said, but will help protect groundwater.
A management plan detailing how the property will be used and cared for will be drafted after the purchase, to be discussed by the board after a public hearing. Recreational uses that would not require personnel on site are under consideration, Scott Wilson, the town’s director of land acquisition and management, said last Thursday, including the installation of handicapped-accessible trails, an area for Frisbee golf, and a “human-scale chess” board.
David Buda, a Springs resident who often raises questions about proposed land purchases, said at the hearing that given the cost, the board should have had “long and considered” discussions about the land’s use before voting to move ahead, rather than adopting a stance of “buy it now and we’ll figure out something to do with it later.”
“This is not an area that cries out for a need for recreation,” he said.
Mr. Buda took issue with the potential for development on the site, as depicted by Mr. Wilson. But Mr. Wilson said that he and town Planning Department staffers had examined the pertinent zoning and other regulations, and that, if developed, the land could yield up to 15 new houses.