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    Saturday, April 20, 2024

    Norwich considers combining foreclosed lots for park in Laurel Hill neighborhood

    Norwich ― Six small lots left undeveloped from a residential subdivision built 30 years ago could become a neighborhood open space park under a plan to be considered by the City Council on Monday.

    The lots, ranging in size from 0.06 acres to 3.09 acres and totaling 5.7 acres, were part of a 1993 re-subdivision of the Laurel Park Development Plan along Laurel Circle and Ridgewood Drive off Route 12 in Laurel Hill. The six properties are situated in the center of the subdivision between the two roads and are dominated by wetlands, city Director of Planning Deanna Rhodes said.

    The city foreclosed on the undeveloped lots in 2019 for unpaid taxes.

    Rhodes is recommending that the city combine the six lots into one parcel and place a deed restriction that the land be maintained as open space in perpetuity. The City Council will consider a resolution Monday to do that at its meeting at 7:30 p.m. at City Hall. Public comments will be taken on the proposal before the vote. The council’s Public Works and Capital Improvements Committee has endorsed the proposal.

    Rhodes said the action would alleviate frequent questions directed to the city planning office by developers on whether the lots are available for development. Rhodes said the 1993 subdivision plan by Laurel Realty Co. is defunct, and given the amount of wetlands, it would be difficult to approve new development lots on the properties.

    “By formalizing it, it prevents speculation whether the lots are for sale for development,” Rhodes said. “Because of the amount of wetlands, it’s just appropriate to designate them as open space.”

    c.bessette@theday.com

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