Approximately every 10 years, Lyme conducts a survey of its residents – the results of which are used to update the town’s Plan of Conservation and Development (PoCD) to ensure the wishes of residents become the goals of our boards and commissions. The most recent survey results (from 2014) found virtually unanimous support for permanent protection of our natural resources and community character through the creation of permanent open space. The updated PoCD identified the following as some of the town priorities:
- Preserve large, connected tracts of undeveloped and open land to maintain the town’s rural character, protect public health and safety, and retain wildlife habitat.
- Continue to support the development of a townwide greenway plan and seek preservation over time of parcels which are located within the proposed greenways.
- Continue town funding for a reserve account for purchase of open space land. Such “opportunity” funds can allow for optioning land, paying for surveys and appraisals, and can enable the town to act quickly when a desirable property becomes available.
The acquisition of large open space tracts also represents a tool for maintaining low property taxes. Two-thirds of every property-tax dollar goes toward the education of our children. Since the school costs for each additional new child far exceed the property tax received from each new house added in town, the preservation of open space avoids the building of new subdivisions and any associated increase in school costs.