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Man issued infraction for allegedly trespassing

By Anna Isaacs

Publication: The Day

Published January 31. 2014 4:00AM
Property once owned by Oat family at center of legal battle

North Stonington - State police will issue an infraction to Donald L. Oat, the grandson of the original owner of the embattled 96 Button Road property who allegedly trespassed on that land earlier this month.

According to a report filed Jan. 14 by Resident State Trooper David Greene, one of the employees of Firefly Farms - the farm that owner Van Brown established there with his son and wife in 2011 - reported an "incident" with Oat on Jan. 11. The employee said she was "scared," though not harassed, threatened or assaulted.

The report concludes that Oat will be receiving an infraction for creating a public disturbance and simple trespass.

The town of North Stonington and Brown are engaged in a legal battle over the future of the property, which was originally a gift to the now-defunct Norwich YMCA. Oat's grandfather and two other landowners deeded the property to be given to North Stonington in the event the YMCA ceased to use it. After a series of apparent land record errors, the property was sold to Brown.

The town is now seeking to claim 35 acres of the property and place restrictions on the other 90 acres. The state also has an interest in whether an earlier settlement offer from Brown satisfies the "charitable intent" of the original deed, and whether his farm suits any open-space requirements.

A court date for the case, in which the attorney general will be a party, is pending.

Oat and Brown declined to comment on the police report.

a.isaacs@theday.com

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