Selectmen place Tower Hill land in conservation

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Edgartown selectmen gave conditional approval for a conservation restriction on Tower Hill Road.

The conservation restriction will be placed on 10 acres of wooded land at 35 Tower Hill Lane. The land is part of the Edwin N. Woods Jr. Realty Trust. The Woods family has owned the land since the 1890s.

With the restriction, the land will be maintained in perpetuity for conservation purposes; it will prevent any use changes. The conservation restriction will be held by Vineyard Conservation Society. Roughly 10 acres of the property will be made available for farming, and Woods will retain a five-acre parcel that includes a beachfront cottage.

Selectmen unanimously approved the conservation restriction pending review by town counsel Ron Rappaport.

Selectman Michael Donaroma raised a point about the town’s moth habitat mitigation. The entire property is classified as rare imperial moth habitat, but the town can’t use the property for mitigation since it’s used for agricultural purposes.

“It’s a tossup between agriculture and moth credit for the town. I don’t know which one is more important. Just something to think about,” Donaroma said.

In other business, the state approved Edgartown’s tax rate at $3.28 per $1,000 valuation — a seven-cent drop from last year.