Town Of Cape Elizabeth
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Winnick Woods Draft Master Plan
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Town Council adopts Master Plan for Winnick Woods

The Town Council Jan. 9 approved a master plan for Winnick Woods, a 57-acre parcel off of Sawyer Road.

Following a public hearing, councilors unanimously agreed to adopt the plan to preserve and maintain the property for passive recreation.

The land is a gift to the Town from Alice Larrea, and councilors were grateful to her and her family for her generous donation.

The plan calls for collaboration with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to establish a habitat for the New England Cottontail on part of the property.

Any agreements for an endangered-species habitat will need to come back to the Town Council for approval, said Town Manager Michael McGovern. Town Councilor Mary Ann Lynch said she earlier questioned how an official habitat might limit human activity on the property, and wants to better understand the legal implications of establishing a habitat area before making such an agreement.

The plan for Winnick Woods, named after the original family of Alice Larrea, calls for some work, particularly regeneration of fields, Conservation Commission Chairman John Herrick told the council.

Pending review by the Planning Board, the master plan calls for incremental implementation overseen by the Conservation Commission. "The Commission will take advantage of volunteer labor and fund improvements within existing annual budget allocations for town greenbelt trails," the plan says.

Herrick said the plan calls for additional trail work, signage, boardwalking and at least one bridge. "So we've spent quite a bit of time working on this plan," Herrick said, recommending council adoption.

Speaking in favor of the plan was Janice Chapman, 1108 Sawyer Road, who told the council that she was happy with the changes made to accommodate her lot near the entrance to the property. "It's been a pleasure to work with the Conservation Commission and (Town Planner) Maureen (O'Meara)," she said.

Herrick explained that the entrance to the parcel had been moved 100 feet, and that lot owners Chapman and Bruce Moore agreed to subsidize the cost of the relocation.

Councilors thanked the Conservation Commission and the town planner for their work. "And thanks to Mrs. Larrea and her family, for 57 beautiful acres that will be forever conserved and preserved in the town of Cape Elizabeth," said Town Council Chairman David Backer.

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