*UPDATED* Lawmakers Send Land Swap Plan to the State Senate

The Government Administration and Elections Committee approved moving the measure forward for a vote by the full Senate.

The state's Government Administration and Elections Committee voted to send to the full Senate a controversial land swap proposal in Haddam. 

The committee voted with little comment on the plan to swap 17 acres near the Connecticut River for 87 acres of forestland in Higganum is contained in a land conveyance bill that committee will vote on when it meets today at noon. The issue has become increasingly heated in Haddam over the last several weeks, as opposition to it mounts from residents and land preservation groups. 

State Sen. Eileen Daily, D-Westbrook, inserted the land swap bill in the conveyance measure on behalf of the developers of the Riverhouse at Goodspeed Station. The 17 acres abuts the Riverhouse property and the owners of the business have proposed building a boutique hotel on the site along with associated retail space. 

“Riverhouse Properties is grateful the committee recognizes the value of this land exchange for the state and its residents," said Trevor Furrer, managing partner of Riverhouse. "We pledge to work hard in the weeks to come reaching out to those with concerns and educating more people about the environmental and economic benefits of the project.”                         

Opponents, however, say the land is ecologically sensitive and should remain as open space. They also have complained that the land swap would set a bad precedent and could discourage others from donating open space to the state. 

Proponents of the swap say it would give the state 87 acres that abut the Cockanponset State Forest in Higganum and increase access to that state park. They also argue that the river land being swapped gets limited public use and would provide for much-needed development in the Tylerville section of town. 

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Curious April 06, 2011 at 12:27 AM
The swap (sec 14) has been sent to the senate with rest of bill SB1196. The senate will review the bill and can remove the swap. Here is a link to the members of the Senate with their email addresses - tell them how you feel. Key people are Senate Majority Leader Martin Looney and President Pro Tem Donald Williams http://www.cga.ct.gov/asp/menu/slist.asp
Lauren April 06, 2011 at 11:45 AM
Despite the fact that there is already a "Goodspeed's Station" that is a locally owned small business.
Lynn Herlihy April 06, 2011 at 12:33 PM
Thanks Curious. You are extremely knowledgeable about state government. I am learning or should I say relearning lots from you.
Jeanne Corvan April 06, 2011 at 07:04 PM
I think we have to follow what the people in Wisconsin and Ohio are doing. In the streets, organize recalls. That's how you make the government work. Every major change in this country has occurred because people were organized and visible in mass numbers. This strategy has worked with environmental issues as well. It can work in our area. As for Phil Miller or any other politician. Who cares what they say. What are they going to do and are they going to involve the public in whatever they do? Or are they going to promise to do what they can if we all sit quietly and not make waves.
Keep the river front for all of us April 06, 2011 at 10:23 PM
Money Man.........just where will this hotel be ?


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